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Amidst record levels of loadshedding, an increasing number of South Africans have turned to private safe deposit vaults to protect their most precious belongings.

South Africa experienced more than 200 days of loadshedding in 2022, while the country’s power provider, Eskom, recently broke the news to beleaguered households that loadshedding will continue for the next two years.

As rolling blackouts stoke safety concerns, IBV International Vaults, a leading provider of secure storage solutions, reports that the company has seen an 40% surge in queries for safe deposit boxes since the beginning of 2022.

“Loadshedding has significantly increased the vulnerability of people’s homes, weakening security measures such as electric fences, electric gates and alarm systems, and creating more opportunities for criminals to take advantage,” notes IBV Chief Executive Officer Ashok Sewnarain.

“So, with housebreakings and home robberies on the rise, we’ve seen that an increasing number of households are turning to private vaults and safe deposit boxes for peace of mind in order to store their valuables and important documents.”

According to Statistics South Africa’s Victims of Crime Release, as many as 983,000 households experienced a housebreaking or burglary in the 2021/2022 period – an overwhelming average of 2,693 households every day. Additionally, another 155,000 experienced a home robbery, which involves contact with criminals, over the same period – or an average of 424 households every day.

Security specialists further warned at a recent media briefing that crimes such as robberies and housebreakings have only increased over the past few months as loadshedding has intensified, with the number of incidents particularly rising during peak periods.

“In these challenging times, our professional vault facilities offer the benefit of impenetrable security, with state-of-the-art technology and safety measures features as proof against loadshedding and criminal activity,” adds Sewnarain.

“As a result, we’ve seen a significant increase in interest from both businesses and private individuals. Many of the items stored in our vaults are sentimental items such as jewellery, and are simply irreplaceable. But with the strength of our security, we’re able to alleviate all anxiety regarding break-ins or losses, while providing our clients with a world-class service and absolute discretion.”

Globally renowned as the home of the world’s most exclusive private vaults, IBV has rapidly expanded its local presence over the past year, purchasing new facilities in Durban, Sandton, Rosebank and Cape Town, which it has renovated in line with international vault standards. In total, it now boasts seven private safe deposit vault facilities across the country, each of which offers a variety of underground storage options such as safety deposit boxes, vaults and private rooms.

Each fortress-like facility boasts multi-tiered security systems featuring armoured doors; steel-lined walls, floors and ceilings; seismic detection; and tactical teams.

“There is a growing need for more sophisticated secure storage solutions in South Africa, and our clients appreciate having the option of a company with our track record and calibre, especially in these difficult times.

“At our heart, our service is ultimately about comfort, removing some of the stress and anxiety caused by rising crime rates or other threats such as fires and riots. This is why our facilities have remained so popular both nationally and around the world.”

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