New smart access cards launched at UP

MARKO SVICEVIC
UP’s new smart access cards will be issued to students, staff and contractors in phases from 20 April. According to UP spokesperson Candice Jooste, to obtain a new smart access card, fingerprints and a photo will be required and therefore access cards will have to be acquired in person. Issuing of new smart access cards will commence on Hatfield Campus from 20 April to 19 May. The new smart access cards can be obtained from the Student Service Centre (formerly known as the Client Service Centre), the reception at the Graduate Centre, and at the shop next to Haloa under the Engineering bridge. 

“Mobile stations will be visiting each campus [and] further updates will be sent to all staff, students and contractors as to where and when they can obtain their [new smart access] cards at the Prinshof, Groenkloof, Sports and Onderstepoort campuses,” said Jooste. 

The move to a new access control system with dual verification came after an executive decision was made in 2016 that all returning students would retain their 2016 student cards for access in 2017, after which the implementation of the new access control system would begin. According to Jooste, the new access control system will provide a safer environment on campus by allowing entry to authorised card-holders only. Jooste said that “UP will do everything within its control to ensure the 2017 academic year proceeds as planned and without any disruption,” adding that UP “will work closely with students, staff, campus security and, if necessary, the Police, to protect the academic project”. According to a statement by Vice-Principal of Institutional Planning, Prof. Anton Ströh, the new smart access cards are compatible with both the existing magnetic strip card readers and the new proximity (contactless) card readers. Prof. Ströh added that multiple teams are working on the project and that measures will be taken to fast-track installation and minimise disruptions. 

First issue of the new access cards will be free and every subsequent issue will cost students R100. 

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