Securing residential estates in South Africa has become a big business, but how did it start?
It is not clear which estate was the first, but rumour has it that it was a small estate that started on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
This was probably Selborne Golf Estate, developed by Denis Barker in the early 1980s.
Denis, a local cattle farmer, together with his son developed a section of the farm into an 18-hole golf course. So, Selborne was the first residential golf estate in South Africa – the vision of a cattle farmer and passionate golfer.
The next one was Mount Edgecombe Estate, also in KwaZulu-Natal.
It was originally a sugar estate named after the seventh Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, Edward Piers Edgcumbe. It was developed into a golf course by the golf-loving businessmen owners. In 1935 it became an 18-hole golf course and gained the reputation of being one of the top golf courses in the KZN region.
Tragedy struck in 1987, when the course and clubhouse were flooded. The following year, in 1988, the clubhouse was razed to the ground by fire in under an hour. It was from this tragedy that the present-day Mount Edgecombe Country Club and residential estate was born.
The property owners sent a development team to the United States to research the design and operational requirements of residential estates, and proceeded to develop the estate we see today.
The wish for a secure lifestyle amid growing concerns about crime meant that the concept took off in South Africa.
It has been recognised that the security of an estate, when successful, improves property values.
We have seen the residential golf estate concept expand into agricultural, wildlife and country estates to suit a wider marketplace of people who need the secure lifestyle concept but who are not necessarily golfers. The industry continues to grow, and the security sector needs to rise to the occasion and produce world-leading solutions.
The safety and security of home and family are priorities for most people, and the responsibility placed on the security solution providers must not be underestimated.