Security Focus Africa July 2018

Page 20


In conversation with… Anton Swanevelder and Herman Bester, winners of the Santam Safety Ideas Campaign 2018


riven by a desire to make South Africa safer for everyone, cofounders of MyLifeLine Anton Swanevelder and Herman Bester chatted to Security Focus Africa about their award-winning panic device.

The motivation… We wanted to help others as well as our own loved ones in the event that they find themselves in an emergency and unable to call for help. Being actively involved in the security industry, we recognised the need for a wearable device that integrates with a control room without being dependent on a cell phone. The Internet of Things (IoT) has given us the ability to innovate in this gap in the market which sees, all too often, instances where people’s safety and lives are at risk. We read about farm attacks and assaults on students and the elderly in the media all



By Ingrid Olivier

the time, and that as a result of the sudden nature of the attacks, they can’t get to their cell phones or their phones are taken from them, or emergency services don’t know where to find them. We wanted to create a GPS device that can pinpoint their best estimated locations and as a result, save precious minutes.

Who they are… Anton is the Chief Technical Officer of MyLifeLine, in charge of software development and electronic media and content. He completed his N.Dip IT at the Tshwane University of Technology (Pretoria), which set him on the road to fulfilling his career dream of becoming an entrepreneur and inventor with the purpose of helping others. When time permits, he spends time with his family, on the golf course or at church. Herman is the Chief Executive Officer of MyLifeLine, overseeing the company’s

business development and security operational innovations portfolios. He obtained his B.Com (Logistics) and MBA at UNISA and Stellenbosch University Business School respectively before pursuing his goal of being a mentor for start-ups and becoming a preferred security player in South Africa. Family and work commitments leave him with little leisure time, but he can’t resist dipping into books and articles on security innovations.

MyLifeLine… People should have access to proper safety escalation technology wherever they are, which is exactly what MyLifeLine is: a panic button for wherever you are. The main inspiration behind the founding of the startup was to allow people to access trained emergency controllers as well as their preferred contacts in crises without being dependent on their cell phones. We created