Crime linked to rise in security, complex sales
Cape Town - The spate of house robberies and contact crimes in the Western Cape has prompted Cape Town residents to abandon free-standing homes for the security of estate houses and complexes.
According to the 2014/15 crime statistics, released by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko last week, robberies at residential homes in the province had increased by 280 more cases from the previous year’s 1 878.
An Institute for Security Studies report showed that South Africans feared being victims of a house robbery most – even more so than rape and robbery.
CEO and founder of Estate Living Jamie-Lee van Sittert said there was a growing need for more secure complex communities.
She said there were more than 6 000 registered gated communities and private estates across the country with more than 318 000 properties.
“Some neighbourhoods have taken to installing vehicle licence recognition cameras to track vehicles. But is this the answer? Living in a secure complex may not be the solution to crime,” she said.
Laurie Wener, marketing director for Pam Golding Properties in the Cape Town Metro region, said gated estates had become increasingly sought-after over the years.
“Security is a primary attraction with lower maintenance and utility costs, due to economies of scale.
“They also offer many owners of large properties an attractive alternative to apartment living for which they may not be ready – especially if they still have children living at home.”
Mthetheleli Masinda, a former Mandalay resident, said he moved to Bardale Village, a middle-income bracket estate, in Kuils River three years ago.
Mandalay falls under the suburb of Lentegeur where burglaries at residential homes increased from 428 to 739.
“I moved from Mandalay after witnessing a lot of crime,” said Masinda. “I feel much safer here.”
Masinda said on one occasion he forgot his car keys inside his vehicle, which he had left parked overnight in the complex.
“I got there in the morning and my car was still there, untouched.” he said.
Masinda said in the past three years he had seen a growing number of people moving to homes in the complex and two additional blocks that were part of the same estate. “Although the price is higher, people are looking for security,” he said.
Elsewhere, house robberies in Kuils River had almost doubled from 18 to 30 cases reported.
Annien Borg, marketing director for Pam Golding Properties in the Boland and Overberg regions, said there was a trend among home buyers to purchase homes on secure, lifestyle estates.