Following the mayhem in South Africa last week, whose violent riots saw the deaths of 337 people at the last count, and the destruction and looting of millions of dollars’ worth of property, a drone expert in South Africa cautioned against the kneejerk deployment of drones to hotspot areas.
Drone Guards Director, Kim James’s fear was that flying drones into the violence without prior preparation would cause more trouble than it would help. For one thing, the pilots would be flying in blind, with no knowledge of the areas they would be required to operate in; and for another, the lack of communication and coordination with other security personnel on the scene could jeopardise the mission.
Well; it seems Kim’s advice took root in one of the big corporations in the country; as the insurance company has contracted a local drone service provider to boost its security infrastructure at one of its premises.
The drone company chosen for the gig was QP Drone Tech, which will be flying its drones around their client’s premises, which are serving up as a vaccination centre for now.
The giant local insurance provider must have witnessed the wanton destruction that visited other vaccination sites last week, and they decided to take proactive measures to secure their building and property.
And they are right to worry too; as the numbers start trickling in about the scale of the damage last week, it has emerged that about 45,000 vaccines were lost during the protests, which is sure to put a strain on government’s efforts to inoculate the nation faster so they can reopen the economy.
In this light, the company contracted QP Drone Tech to fly in their drones and conduct aerial surveys to be on the lookout for security breaches. The project will subsist for as long as the premises serve as a vaccination site, or at least until the situation in the country is calm again.
But it is not the length of the contract the drone company is worried about – with it being a fresh player on the drone services scene, QP Drone tech is happy for the opportunity to showcase what drone technology can do for the security industry.
“This is a great milestone for our young company,” Queen Ndlovu, a director at the drone company said. “We once worked with the corporation on a building assessment project, and it was at that time that we pitched them the idea of our drones working alongside their security officers.
“When the violence started, they called us.”
But not to fly into the mayhem though; the company wanted QP’s drones to stay in the air and keep an eye out of any signs of trouble approaching. The company’s drone team has been on site for a few days now, and their eyes in the sky have watched silently as people trickled in and out of the vaccination centre without any disturbances.
The drones would have to return to base for recharging now and again, as they are flying free, and not tethered. Ndlovu said her company is working with other partners on this project, and she thanked them for their help.
“Without their expert input, this project might not have been possible for us,” Ndlovu said.
As of now, the start-up will be doing day shifts, but the hope is for them to do a good job so they will win the tender to work on other sites and on other security gigs.
Founded in 2018, QP Drone Tech is a drone start-up with lofty ambitions, which include it manufacturing and assembling drones in the near future. At present, they offer services like consultancy and advisory services, security, inspection and survey services in telecommunication, agriculture, mining, maritime, disaster management industries; among others.