Gated communities vs security solutions
South African gated communities can be easily described as security villages and enclosed neighbourhoods. Security villages include a number of different types of developments, which vary from smaller townhouse complexes to larger office parks and luxury estates. On the other end neighbourhoods are closed off through road closures, as well as fences or walls around entire neighbourhoods in some cases. These properties are usually close to schools, malls, major highways, business hubs and airports.
The only safe option
The majority of people tend to consider these neighbourhoods & security villages as the only option for safe living in cities. This is based on the fact that these areas are largely built by private developers and investors, with security being the highest requirement.
Gated Communities grow into enclosed neighbourhoods
Johannesburg, being the leading city in South Africa, has followed the growth pattern of American cities. This is done through the development of several decentralized nodes (i.e. Sandton, Fourways & Midrand). These tend to provide career, recreation and retail opportunities, which includes shopping centres. This has led to the city (including its neighbour Tshwane) having the highest numbers of enclosed neighbourhoods in the country. All of this ultimately leads to security challenges. After all, crime consistently ranks high among South Africans’ top concerns. So how should businesses and residents be looking at security solutions?
Technology to manage neighbourhood security
Businesses have begun increasing security measures with CCTV cameras, electric fencing, security lights and outdoor alarm beams. Residents have also taken action by installing alarm systems, panic buttons, electronic gates and intercom systems. These anti-theft technologies have started playing a role in the decrease of burglaries, according to the latest crime statistics.
Household crimes stays behind doors
But the reality is that many crimes are not reported to the police due to a lack of trust in the judicial system. The latest data suggests that out of 53% of the burglary crimes that happen outside the home, only 10% is reported to the police. The “household” crime (for example burglary, home robbery, car theft) is currently at 7%. The City of Johannesburg identified a number of challenges for future development and urban upgrading, which relate to safety and security; electricity & housing.
Startups provide a tech solution
One company that has seen opportunity in these challenges is a Cape-Town security startup called Jonga. This is a classic case of a difficult crime situation impacting one of the co-owners to develop these innovations. The company has developed a motion sensor module and mobile application that notifies you should there be intrusions in your property.
Economic & social development are two of the most important solutions to address in curbing these challenges, And that can holistically happen from a collaborative effort between property owners, tenants, service providers, communities at large as well as public sector agencies. Coprop.io focuses on allowing these stakeholders above to be empowered through knowledge and resources to tackle issues such as crime head on. Staying on top of these trends allows for dynamic communities that enjoy the economic benefits from both a business and personal perspective.