Cape Town Metropolitan Police

The City of Cape Town uses the Teleste VMX recording platform and MPX video encoders to secure the safety of people. The customer is the Cape Town Metropolitan Police. Cape Town is located on the shore of Table Bay, South Africa.
The first Cape Town city centre surveillance solution was installed in 1998 using Teleste’s analogue CFO transmission equipment. In 2001, the system was upgraded to a STM1 ATM network so that the city could expand to a redundant, ring-type installation with the capacity for up to about 200 cameras. Upgrading to a 10 Gigabit Ethernet network in 2009 further increased the system capacity to include hundreds of additional cameras. The grand vision has been to give the city access to next-generation IP video applications.

The project has been carried out in co-operation between the City of Cape Town, Teleste and Fibre-Based Integration (FBI). As the main contractor in network infrastructure, FBI has been responsible for installations, deployment, support and maintenance. A video management platform, video encoders and video wall software have been delivered by Teleste.
Customer need
  • To gradually bring the entire Cape Town Central Business district (city centre) and public transport interchanges under 24-hour surveillance.
  • To build a stable, resilient and flexible CCTV platform that can be used by both the Cape Town Police and city control rooms.
  • To guarantee system scalability and flexibility in the future by using open standards technology.
Solution to customer's need
  • The City of Cape Town’s CCTV installation covers a large part of Cape Town, including some of the city’s exits and entrance highways.
  • Approximately 750 cameras are controlled from two CCTV control centres. Redundancy is guaranteed by both control rooms being able to control any camera in the system. If needed, both centres can also operate alone.
  • Both CCTV control centres can access each other’s feeds. Both centres have switching gear for receiving video feeds, decoders for viewing and 140 terabytes of RAID5 storage for gathering and storing evidence for 31 days. In 2010, the storage size needed to be doubled, Total: 975TB (approximately).
  • The 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; they provide back-up recordings for all cameras.
  • Teleste’s field-hardened MPX video encoders are used to encode the analogue camera inputs to IP, after which the MPEG-4 video streams are recorded by the Teleste VMX NVRs in the control rooms. MPX video encoders support a high temperature range (-34...+74 ºC), which reduces maintenance costs by extending maximum uptime. Teleste has also provided video wall software so that incoming video streams can be displayed on large LCD monitors.
  • The CCTV installation has been designed to use the minimum number of components, which reduces the number of spare parts and helps to save costs.
  • The project has been partnered by Fibre-Based Integration (FBI) for the principal contracting in network infrastructure, installations, deployment, support and maintenance. Teleste has been responsible for delivering the video management platform, video encoders and video wall software.
Benefits achieved

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.

The Teleste field hardened MPX video encoders are used to encode the analogue camera inputs to IP, the MPEG4 video streams is then recorded on the Teleste VMX NVRs in the control rooms. MPX video encoders provide the customer with a high temperature range (-34 to +70 ºC), which allows for a maximum up time and therefore reducing the maintenance costs. Teleste also provide the video wall software to display the incoming video streams on to large LCD monitors.

The City of Cape Town and Teleste have designed the CCTV installation to be a redundant as possible using the least number of components which reduces the spares requirement; this has helped to save costs.

Project scope

By 2020, the Cape Town Metropole wants CCTV surveillance of all its CBDs (totalling 40) and public transport interchanges (200-plus taxi, bus and train hubs). The city is currently still the SA leader in city CCTV. At the time of writing, the number of cameras under FBI’s management numbered 250 cameras for cape town. By 2015, 400 to 500 more could come on-stream. The Teleste platform further runs all other leading SA city surveillance installations – a total of some 1 500 cameras.

Customer comments / quotation

“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”

 – Wehan Wessels, Principal Consulting Engineer, CCTV project, the City of Cape Town.