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Mi7 National Group Expands Surveillance Net, installs 100th Unit in KZN to Enhance Regional Security

In August 2023, copper sheets worth over R6 million, destined for China, were stolen from the Port of Durban, setting into motion a high-stakes recovery operation. The expansive Mi7 Surveillance Net tracked a truck carrying the stolen goods to the Bishopstowe area outside Pietermaritzburg, about 100kms away from the port.


Mi7 National Group's Strategic Threat Response Unit, in collaboration with police officers, apprehended three suspects during the operation. The case exemplified the Mi7 Surveillance Net's crucial role in crime detection and prevention, showcasing its ability to offer real-time, actionable intelligence.


This week, Mi7 National Group celebrated a significant milestone – the installation of its 100th unit as part of the Mi7 Surveillance Net project in KwaZulu-Natal. Located at the intersection of Montgomery Drive and Town Bush Road in Montrose, Pietermaritzburg, this unit represents the culmination of dedicated efforts to enhance regional security.


“The installation of our 100th Surveillance Unit marks a significant milestone in our journey towards creating a safer KwaZulu-Natal. This is not just a number for us; it's a symbol of our unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our communities. Every unit we install is a step forward in our mission to build a secure and resilient region,” said Mi7 National Group Director, Colin David.


Envisioned as a protective dome over cities like Pietermaritzburg, the Mi7 Surveillance Net operates like a vigilant guardian, creating a sophisticated mesh of technology that works seamlessly to monitor, detect, and respond to potential threats. Covering key public areas around the clock, the Mi7 Surveillance Net is an extensive network of 387 cameras across 100 strategically placed domes. It is active in areas like Pietermaritzburg, Howick, Hilton, Wartburg, and Port Shepstone – and was installed at no cost to residents or municipalities.


The cameras are equipped with the state-of-the-art Automatic Number Plate Recognition Software, which is intricately connected to the government’s e-Natis system. This connection allows for a rapid recognition of vehicle number plates linked to crimes across the country. It actively assists law enforcement and Mi7 teams in mapping routes used by criminals to enter and exit areas, playing a crucial role in planning strategic operations. Moreover, the reassurance it provides to residents and business owners is immeasurable.

“At Mi7, we believe in harnessing the power of technology for the greater good. Our Mi7 Surveillance Net is a perfect example of this philosophy in action. Equipped with cutting-edge features like automatic number plate recognition and detailed tracking capabilities, our network represents the forefront of security technology. We're not just watching over the city; we're proactively safeguarding its future,” said David.


Maintaining such an expansive network demands relentless dedication. Mi7 National Group ensures that all infrastructure, maintenance, installations, and monitoring are meticulously managed, with a constant operation rate of at least 97%. The network processes around 14 TB of data per month and delivers 9288 hours of footage per day, a testament to its robustness and reliability.


In Pietermaritzburg alone, the network performs an astonishing 9.1 million vehicle scans per month. Out of these, approximately 3,100 vehicles are flagged by the system – although not all are actively pursued by law enforcement. In other key areas like Howick, Hilton, Wartburg, and Port Shepstone, the average monthly scans tally around 350,000, with about 70 vehicles flagged, demonstrating the network's wide-ranging surveillance capability. This year to date, the Mi7 Surveillance Net has resulted in Mi7 Armed Response teams recovering 37 vehicles (most of which were stolen) wanted in the commission of crimes across the country.


As Mi7 National Group continues to expand its Surveillance Net, the focus remains steadfast on innovating for security, showcasing a deep-seated commitment to making KwaZulu-Natal a safer place to live and work.


“The true value of our Surveillance Net goes beyond its technical capabilities. It's about the peace of mind it brings to our residents and the confidence it instils in our businesses. We're creating an environment where safety is a given, not a luxury. Our network is more than a security measure; it's a cornerstone of community trust and well-being,” said David.


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