Security Survey 2001/2

May 2002 News

Hi-Tech Security Solutions finalises the First South African Security Industry Survey

The South African security industry is currently faced with numerous challenges residing in the increased occurrence of crime and its indirect effects on the country's economic and social environments. In addition, globalisation and increased international competition is taking its toll, compelling the South African security industry to take a scrutinising look at the current market situation.

To this end, Technews initiated a syndicated research effort in late 2001, in order to obtain an accurate assessment of the South African security industry. The research was done on behalf of a number of contributors (RESA, ESDA, Hi-Tech Security Solutions and the POSLEC SETA) with Technews performing the role of facilitator. The project aimed to provide suppliers in the security industry sector with the information required for developing effective, targeted marketing efforts, and for aiding strategic business decision making.

The results of the survey are in and it is intended that Technews will publish the results shortly.

Aims and objectives

The primary objective of the research was to make an accurate assessment of the South African security industry. More specifically the objectives were to:

* Profile the security industry in terms of market demand. This would address the following issues in the security equipment sector:

• Growth prospects;

• Market and technology trends;

• Identification of investment opportunities;

• Demand for security equipment.

* Profile the supply side of the security industry. This would address the following issues:

• Supply of security equipment;

• New market entrants;

• Mergers and acquisitions that took place in the past two years.

* Evaluate the competitive situation in the industry. The following issues would be addressed within each product segment:

• Main competitors;

• Competitive forces.

Project scope

The scope of the project was restricted to South Africa and the following security equipment products and systems were evaluated and included in the scope of the project:

* Access control;

* Surveillance;

* Alarms;

* Perimeter security;

* Fire prevention;

* Physical security;

* Communications;

* Vehicle security;

* Security services, including

* Alarm monitoring services (with control centre)

• Armed reaction and/or paramedic services

• Guarding and outsourced security services

• Consulting engineering and project management

• Investigations and countermeasures

• Polygraph and psychological testing

• Risk management, loss control, disaster recovery

• Installation or system integration


The Survey is the first of its kind in recent years, and serves as a solid base from which to keep abreast of trends in the market. That said, it is clear that the security industry itself needs to start engaging gears and quit being quite so paranoid about the business of doing business in this country, and indeed the world.

In the years since Hi-Tech Security Solutions' inception in 1995, we have seen a steady, consistent improvement in the sophistication of businesses in the industry, to the point that the professionalism, technology and customer focus exhibited at Securex is on par with any of the top business sector trade shows I have had the privilege of attending. But now the industry needs to take the next step. It needs to rid itself of petty competitive cage rattling. Businesses need to have more trust in their competitive positioning, their product and service offerings and the quality of their staff.

And most importantly they need to get into their customers' shoes more than ever before.

Survey conclusions

Without wanting to pre-empt the release of the First South African Security Industry Survey, there are a few interesting facts that have stemmed from it.

1. In terms of the industry sectors relevant to the core business of respondents, the primary areas included:

• CCTV systems and surveillance (48,5%);

• Alarms, intrusion detectors, control panels (45,6%);

• Access control (43,7%);

• Security services, value added services (37,9%).

2. Generally, sales were made from within South Africa, with the greater proportion of total sales consisting of imported products. The only sector to have a greater proportion of sales of locally produced products was access control.

3. Market trends identified by respondents were mainly seen to be:

• Increase in crime - general public and companies becoming more security conscious (13,8%);

• Economic factors - exchange rates and the value of the rand (10,4%);

• The move towards the use of digital/IT/technology security measures - more effective and cost saving (10,3%);

• Acquisitions/mergers (9,2%);

• Increase in perimeter/access control and surveillance security (6,9%).

4. Technology trends identified by respondents were seen to be:

• Sophisticated computer hardware and software products (16,1%);

• CCTV (12,6%);

• Electronic security (10,3%);

• Digital technology (9,2%);

• Integrated systems (8,0%).

For details of availability and pricing for the Security Industry Survey, please contact me directly at

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