maintenance purposes. Clients include transport, traffic and emergency services or external entities.
CCTV project, upgrade and selection
The City of Cape Town announced the country’s first city centre surveillance installation in 1998. The original installation was carried out using Teleste Analogue CFO transmission equipment, which provided a reliable point to point installation. This was upgraded in 2001 to a STM1 ATM network, which allowed the City to expand to a redundant ring type installation with the capacity for up to about 200 cameras.
In 2009, the City of Cape Town upgraded to a 10 Gigabit Ethernet network, allowing additional capacity for many more cameras to be added to the system.
There is no specific project timeline or scope in this open-ended contract. The long-term nature of the project has further resulted in a mish-mash of sub-contractors and principal contractor used over the years.
Wehan Wessels, principal consulting engineer on the City’s ongoing CCTV project: “In fact, the Municipal Finance Management Act requires us to use new contractors all the time.This conspires against achieving continuity. It’s a problem, but it has been resolved very well with Teleste’s use of open standards technology.”
Notwithstanding the challenges, the grand vision was to give the city access to next generation IP video applications and flexibility, topped off with TV-quality audio, video and data. Two video control centres were set up, with access to each other’s feeds, pulled in from multiple nodes. If the link between the two goes down, they operate as stand-alone centres. Each has switching gear receiving video feeds, decoders for viewing and 140 terabytes of RAID 5 storage.
Paired control room operators view feeds in short shifts, remote-controlling cameras via head-end equipment. The centre runs 24 hours. As incidents are noted by an operator, a supervisor is notified. With Metro Police and SAPS on hand, evidence is gathered where actionable, and stored for 31 days. The client requested doubling the specification for 2010, to around 300 TB.
The Teleste VMX video management platform provides Cape Town with a stable, resilient and flexible CCTV platform which is in use by both the Police and City control rooms. The City of Cape Town CCTV installation covers a large area of Cape Town which includes some of the main roads into and surrounding the City. Around 400 cameras are controlled from 2 CCTV control rooms, each control room can view and control any camera on the system providing Cape Town with a redundant system.
Main and multiple back-up servers allow the system to continue functioning even in the case of a multiple server failure. Redundant NVRs (Networked Video recorders) are also in use providing back-up recording for all cameras.
Ridwan Wagiet, director of the CCTV branch of the Cape Town Metropolitan Police: “Cape Town wants to bring the entire Cape Town Metropole’s CBDs and public transport interchanges under 24-hour surveillance.”