The security industry employs more than 500 000 people in South Africa, and it is known to be a cut-throat industry dominated by few big players, some of whom are owned by foreign parent companies. The sector also has a number of South African companies operating , and among these is one known as Security Zone. This company was established in 2001 by Alton Mavata, a Western Cape based businessman. Prior to setting up his own company, Alton had spent 10 years in different capacities in the security business.
Security Zone was started with the aim of servicing the security needs of both government departments and the private sector. The business provides security personnel, CCTV installations and provides general security services. The first two years of Security Zone’s life cycle were difficult with other companies outbidding them for contracts. The company resorted to underpricing its services in order to achieve a financial breakeven point.
When Seda intervened, the business needed branding and promotional material in order to increase its visibility and improve its reputation among potential clients. Seda also developed a website for Security Zone which enabled clients to seek quotes online. This ability set apart Security Zone from its competitors.
Alton was also offered advice by the agency, and opportunity to attend business management workshops and training. With understanding of business management, Alton and the business started to grow in stature and a number of contracts were trickling in, among the new clients were Cape Nature, Western Cape Provincial Government and a smaller contract from the South African National Parks.
The company has also since increased its online presence and marketing. Its web-presence has placed it in a better position to receive invitations to participate in contracts outside its primary operating area of the Western Cape. The growth of the company has resulted in the growth of its vehicle fleet to about 12 and a caravan in 2013. These vehicles are also used as marketing and branding tools for the company.
The business is now moving from micro to medium enterprise, with growth into neighbouring provinces progressing well with offices in Ladysmith and Beaufort West. Its annual turnover has also grown significantly in the past three years.