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V&A Waterfront takes next step in intelligent security

V&A Waterfront takes next step in intelligent security

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The Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront in Cape Town is a global landmark, attracting millions of locals, tourists and business visitors to South Africa’s Mother City annually.

Attracting over 24 million people a year, the 123-hectare mixed-use development is home to residential and commercial properties, including hotels, retail districts, dining, leisure and entertainment facilities as well as a host of heritage sites and tourism landmarks. Ensuring the safety and security of these visitors requires a vigilant security team and a state-of-the-art surveillance system that is both innovative and world class.


Expanding its environment from 900 to over 1,300 cameras and partnering with Milestone Systems, the V&A Waterfront security team as well as Axis Communications’ solution Gold Partner, Cygnetic, set about expanding the camera footprint and adding even further intelligence into the system.


The system provides the security team with an ‘all eyes’ approach and enables them to respond proactively to incidents and events. All common areas are monitored, and information is fed directly into the control room which is manned 24 hours seven days a week.

Expansion of the site

Nine years ago, the V&A Waterfront undertook a complete overhaul of its surveillance and monitoring systems. Making use of Axis IP cameras in collaboration with Milestone Systems’ video management software, the V&A transformed an ageing analogue system into a fully managed digital surveillance environment. Now nine years on and having experienced significant expansion of the precinct, the team at the V&A investigated adding more intelligence to its environment and expanding the number of cameras into these new areas.

According to Deon Sloane, Senior Operations Manager at the V&A Waterfront Cape Town, the existing system made up of over 900 Axis cameras was serving the environment well, however due to various expansions it needed to up the number of units. Expansion areas included the Silo Precinct, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) and Silo One to Silo 6, which is made up of a blend of residential and commercial facilities, as well as a revamp of the Canal District which includes Waterway House, Dock Road Junction and Battery Park and its car parking facility.

“We initially chose Axis because of the low failure rate and quality of its products – something the cameras we installed nine years ago have themselves proved,” said Sloane.

“Its outdoor cameras are also able to withstand harsh environments, as we are close to the ocean this is a must for us. So simply, it made sense for us to stick with the solution we knew and to expand on what we had for our new sites while also exploring new features and technologies that are available today.

“Axis has become an invaluable technology partner, providing excellent service levels and continuous involvement of the Axis team at all levels to date.

“We use our system for not only safety, surveillance and security, but as a full management support solution. Due to the large amount of foot traffic and carpark traffic we are able to leverage the system to assist with traffic flow management, using the cameras as our eyes we can identify congestion and take action.

“In the case of foot traffic, we can monitor and track the movement of people and implement crowd management when we and our tenants host events such as those held on New Year’s Eve – or during particularly busy parts of the season.

“The Axis cameras allow us to monitor the crowds and take proactive measures to manage the throngs of people.”

Business benefits

Making use of Milestone software, the V&A Waterfront can retrieve footage in seconds and react immediately. Surveillance operators are trained to pick up suspicious behaviour and the cameras provide the team with the ability to notice activities whilst they are playing out – apprehending the suspect before and/or when they have committed the crime.

This level of profiling gives it an edge over criminals.

“Nine years later after the initial installation, the AXIS P3344 is still up and running,” said Sloane.

“No other brand can compete with the quality of the Axis products. They stay ahead of the competition by investing in research and development. Its local support is unmatched, and its technology is always innovating. That is why nine years on, the V&A will still proudly recommend Axis Communications as a supplier of choice.”

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