Jenny Reid, Founder of iFacts, recently presented at the Smart Estate Security Conference in Durbanville and she said that while secure luxury estates are generally almost ideal places to live, challenges often do come from the breaches in physical security but rather in the human form.

In South Africa it is very common to have domestic workers, hire in contractors and many investors and others rent out their units on either a long or short term basis. These visitors are, naturally, expected to abide by the rules of the estate, and the owner is ultimately responsible for any conduct breaches and other violations.

Given the extreme crime situation in South Africa, the estate management needs to look at risks for the homeowners and the estate to ensure that employees, contractors, couriers, renters and long-term tenants are not criminals checking out the neighbourhood or have a bad reputation when it comes to living in communities. Consideration needs to be given to vetting employees, tenants and contractors to ensure the estate retains its security posture without being ‘in the way’.

The ideal first step in the process would be to set up a policy approved by the homeowners to ensure there is buy in across the board. Stakeholders need to include but not be limited to homeowners, tenants, estate agents and the security company.

There are organisations that provide thorough individual and corporate profiles and whilst many estates still consider a criminal record check to be a complete investigation, it is known that when someone has a criminal record they have committed a crime and have gone through the entire prosecution whilst individuals with criminal intent have not been identified.

The estate needs to remember that from a legal perspective many of the checks to be conducted need to have the permission of the individual being checked and the provider of the service needs to be compliant with the POPI Act.

Reid stressed that often the human threat can create a greater risk to the estate than a physical breach of security. The human threat should always form part of any estate risk assessment.

The recommended checks for an estate are:


EMPLOYEES (to be implemented according to the level of risk of the employee)





DELIVERY / COURIER DRIVERS (try to establish a bank of regular drivers)

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