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Camera surveillance benefits sector

A portrait image of Marcel Bruyns

MARCEL BRUYNS Axis Communications Africa sales manager Marcel Bruyns highlights the important role played by the South African transport and rail system for regional economic health

14th June 2024

     

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Despite the pivotal role played by South Africa’s public transport systems, recent minibus taxi strikes show the public transport system’s vulnerabilities, in the form of the effects such action has on commuters and the economy, says Axis Communications.

The Western Cape experienced damages to the province amounting to an estimated R5-billion, according to Axis Communications Africa sales manager Marcel Bruyns.

“Nearly three-quarters of businesses saw a decline in revenue, and 38% were left paralysed, underlining public transport’s role in regional economic health,” he says.

Further, Cape Town’s rail system, Metrorail – once a top choice for commuters – reported a concerning decrease of 46-million commuter rail passenger journeys since 2013, highlighting an urgent need for upgrades and improved security.

Additionally, owing to the reduction in freight volumes, State-owned freight company Transnet Freight Rail reported a R5.7-billion loss, which is an issue that will require national attention as part of the passenger rail service and other transport systems, adds Bruyns.

“Solving these problems and reviving [South Africa’s] rail network will be complex, but collaborative efforts to integrate the Internet of Things with rail operations can help ensure a cohesive and secure environment,” he purports.

The railway sector can benefit immensely from network camera surveillance, providing real-time insights that elevate both passenger safety and cargo security. These cameras, armed with advanced analytics, offer proactive monitoring capabilities, detecting anomalies ranging from suspicious activities to unattended luggage, allowing for timely interventions.

For the freight rail industry, where cargo theft poses significant challenges, surveillance serves a dual purpose: maintaining constant vigilance over cargo compartments and storage facilities and deterring potential intruders, especially when the camera is visible.

Beyond direct security measures, the integrated features of modern network cameras, such as infrared and thermal imaging, ensure uninterrupted surveillance, even in challenging conditions. These systems can also seamlessly merge with other security infrastructure, such as access control, creating a holistic safety net for railway operations. The possibility of remote access to live feeds further empowers operators, enabling instantaneous decision-making, whether dispatching security teams or addressing maintenance issues.

Additionally, Internet Protocol (IP) audio is a versatile technology that can be used comprehensively throughout the entire railway system. It can facilitate announcements, provide background music, and deliver security messages to deter potential criminals.

“By integrating IP audio solutions, the operational management of the railway system can experience a newfound dynamism, ultimately enhancing the safety and security of its passengers,” enthuses Bruyns.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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