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New tech introduced for safety of students, staff at UCT
The University of Cape Town (UCT) has signed a contract with Sukema Integrated Solutions, responsible for the E9 emergency mobile system to provide all students, staff and family members with access to a dedicated E9 helpline, available at the touch of a button, 24 hours a day.
By simply dialling the number 9 from their mobile phones, users who find themselves in an emergency situation will be able to transmit their precise location on campus or anywhere else in South Africa to campus security, as well as to a pre-selected friend or family member. This service allows the university to extend and refine its existing security infrastructure.
The E9 service is managed using UCT's existing CHASE incident management software which provides a central operations management platform from which to log and track all incidents. This integrates seamlessly with the E9 service to facilitate efficient, effective response and investigation. When the number 9 is dialled on one's cellphone, the call is logged on the system within seconds and Campus Protection Services' response strategy immediately kicks in after the physical location of the person in distress is identified.
Abusers can expect severe action
According to Roland September, president of the Campus Protection Society of Southern Africa (Camprosa) and head of UCT's Campus Protection Services, technology plays a vital role in providing security for both students and staff. "The security of our students and staff is paramount, and contributes immeasurably to a productive campus environment. Systems such as E9 are vital when it comes to managing a successful campus protection division, and can be used as effective 'force multipliers', maximising the reach of our existing security operation."
He cautioned subscribers not to abuse the system or send hoax alerts as there will be severe action taken if they do. "When they sign up, they will be able to test the system once at their own expense, but thereafter alerts must strictly only be for emergencies. We are able to quickly identify users that abuse the system, and will remove these individuals from the system immediately. This is no different from placing a hoax call to 10111."
E9 is available to regular subscribers at a cost of R10 per month, but is offered free to UCT's more than 25,000 students and 3,000 staff. There is only a cost of R5 levied for each call made to use the system in an emergency situation. E9 will be implemented for a trial period of three months, after which it is expected to be rolled out to other universities across the country.