Security was one of few industries that operated at capacity during South Africa’s hard lockdown. With no handbook to negotiate Covid-19, Stephan Botha, CEO Thorburn Security Solutions, and his team relied on agility, communication and technology to rapidly react to clients’ changing needs
Future generations will be told stories of how overnight South Africa’s bustling city centres ground to a halt and streets took on a post-apocalyptic eeriness, how beaches stood empty on perfect weather days and schools and shopping malls lay abandoned. Prior to 2020, this scenario was unimaginable, but on 23 March 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa declared that the country would face a full national lockdown (starting four days later) limiting movement and severely restricting interpersonal contact. Those who could, obtained special permits or worked from home, others simply waited for the restrictions under the Covid-19 pandemic to ease.
While economic activity slowed, one industry that remained 100% vigilant was security. According to Stephan Botha, CEO Thorburn Security Solutions, it was ‘business as usual’ if by ‘usual’ you mean operating under extremely challenging pandemic conditions, while continuing to provide safety and security services for people, property and assets.
“It was like operating in the dark, nobody had experienced anything like Covid-19 before and we had to learn on the job while actively responding to the pandemic,” says Botha.