A Way of Life!
It's a problem we have in South African society. The people of South Africa are sick and tired of "sickening" headlines and constant crime related issues being the foreground of conversation (even at the dinner table). Companies have taken a big stance in helping the government and the people tackle crime and people are NO LONGER standing back.
In a EFFORT to help build awareness/educate people and possibly give me something new to write about that looks like an original topic, I thought we could chat about "The influence that Crime has had on Property in South Africa!".
From what I've seen in the last 5 years this is how the standard of living has changed in Johannesburg and Pretoria (I'm pretty sure that it's the same throughout S.A. though).
Electrical Fencing / House Alarms / Secure Gates
First came electrical fencing, house alarms and the like. When break-ins and robberies started becoming an issue everyone realised they had to beef up security.
Now, you don't buy a house without either of these. In fact you get, 17 video camera's, 5000 metres of barbed wire fencing and a wall that would've impressed King Arthur.
When you buy a house, and it has neither of these, you're going to pay close to nothing. The addition of these items to your house will cost you at least twice as much as the property price itself!
Allot of neighbourhoods decided to boom off their streets. Security booms became the new craze. Along with this came a whole "1" security guard to protect 50 houses. This of course was a money making scheme that really didn't pay off. All it did was push up property prices, because now you stayed in a secured off area with full patrolling officer.
Criminals got smarted, property prices soared!
What they now started doing was attacking people in their driveways...
That's when estates became the latest craze. We now have golf estates and security estates coming out of our ears. I'm actually willing to bet you that in the next 5 years, the next stat to come out of South Africa will be that S.A. is now the country with the most golf courses per square metre.
People now feel the need to live in a secure environment and estates provide us the means.
With the introduction of estates has come the introduction of exorbitant property prices and extremely high Levy's. Loads more money for the estates to keep their garden services running and pools nice and blue...
As we can see, crime has most definitely not made it easier for South Africans. For a young couple or single individual earning a starting salary to buy a property is almost impossible. So what do we do?
Well for starters...
However, I suggest South Africa starts learning from the rest of the world. Stop building these DAMN golf estates, secure complexes and houses that looks like Fort Knox. Start helping the young and underprivileged individuals. Build Condos, Apartment blocks, Flats and loft apartments... They're cheap to build, they're secure and it's how every other first world country has progressed and managed to help people overcome the exorbitant property prices.
This of course will change and you'll get your idiots who just want to suck you dry of every cent you have, but HEY it's a START!