Let’s get straight to the point. It all comes down to the general competitive nature of the security industry, and in fact, any industry in Africa. As in any business, most of us that hire private security companies to monitor our homes or businesses attend to potential threats within minutes, and to ensure our family's safety get multiple quotes from several security companies. As a result, the security companies that are quoting on these projects attempt to achieve the winning bid by giving the most competitive price. When the competition isn’t spending money on proper training, workman’s compensation, liability insurance, equipment and licenses etc. they are able to provide this service for a much cheaper price.
I strongly suggest you be careful when getting quotes, and take heed when a deal seems too good to be true. There is a reason their price is so cheap. Hiring an incompetent private security company or purchasing poor quality security equipment will do more harm than good. Remember that you get what you pay for, and there is a reason that one company will be a lot cheaper than the next. There are thousands of security companies in South Africa, but reliable, effective ones are hard to come by. You are hiring them for a reason!
Let’s try and get into an average armed response unit guards shoes. His name is John (28). He is employed by a local security company to patrol the streets in Johannesburg. He earns just a little less than R10,000.00 per month and has a wife and two cheerful boys (3 and 7 years old). During his night shift, he has to attend on average to 10 callouts to potential house break-ins / invasions in Johannesburg. 80% of the robbers in South Africa carry firearms and the majority of them are prepared to use them. In 99,99% of cases some sort of weapon is used while committing home robberies (knives etc.). Taken into account that John has to attend to 10 potential crime scenes per night, what is his real life expectancy should he decide to attend to those scenes in a professional manner as we, his customers, expect and are paying his employer for. I would say his life expectancy is one week, maybe a little more, should he be honest and rush to the crime scene in order to really help. Johns opportunity cost is quite clear here and he makes the decision to delay and be as slow as possible, hoping to arrive late and to not get into any confrontation with any aggressive intruders, as surely his R10, 000.00 does not justify that and seeing his boys grow up is somehow a very attractive alternative for him.
A good security consultant would advise you not to rely on response units but rather create as many security layers as you can in your home to prevent criminals getting to you and your family, or to at least slow them down so John cannot delay any longer to come and help you and your family.