Research shows that over 3000 registered Homeowners Associations and over 56000 Sectional Title Schemes contain around 2 million properties in South Africa.

An average of 32% of our members’ operating budget is spent on security, usually the largest spend.

2.1 people are retained as external consultants managing its residents’ lifestyle, security, well-being and property value.

“Residential estate living in South Africa is definitely on the rise. South Africa is a global pioneer in residential estate living – the only other country to have more is the US.

Apart from the lifestyle, safety and security rank as crucial motivations for choosing this lifestyle. With the current trends in South Africa, it all makes perfect sense.

The Department of Forensic Investigation’s Dr Rudolph Zinn believes, after extensive investigation into the mindset of criminals conducting house robberies and hijackings in South Africa, that residents in complexes and estates must be aware that these establishments are no longer the safe havens they purport to be.

Honing in on crime statistics relating to secure complexes, Dr Zinn reported that although secure complexes have traditionally been perceived as more difficult targets, this perception is changing.

80% of HOAs share similar issues and challenges, hence the number of outsourced consultants.

Consultants specific to their fields add value in having the expertise to identify weaknesses where it may appear like all is safe and secure.

In our experience working on Estates, we have found many situations creating a false sense of security.

On an Estate, perimeter security is the first barrier of defence. But unfortunately, there is a lack of auditing and thoroughly inspecting of this critical barrier.

Scarily we have seen analytics on the fence line not set up correctly, that they don’t have the simple set-up functionality such as loitering. Also, analytics that is not alarming when triggered. We have identified fence systems and camera integrations that are not working when they are believed to be.

Unfortunately, most Estates do not have the expertise in-house to pick up these shortcuts taken by Service Providers that could be detrimental.

So who protects the Estate and ensures accountability?

Most Estates do not proactively use the system reports to identify areas of improvement, maintenance or trends. Reports provide vital data going unused; some Estates cannot access these reports directly to their own systems.

While residents think they are safe, the technology they are paying for is not functioning. More concerning is that this is typically picked up post a breach when it could be too late.

We have found missing equipment that is unaccounted for relating to access, another critical area, unbeknown to the Estate.

Some installers don’t issue COC on Estate’s fenceline when replacing insulators or energizers, placing the Estate at risk. This could result in disputed insurance claims or, even worse legal recourse.

Ensure your sophisticated technology is adding the value and the security intended by auditing the systems and reports.

The onus is on the HOA to ensure the Estate is as safe as the residents believe. Not being proactive in the approach can have repercussions and possible reputational damage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *