Circles of barbed wire

Circles of barbed wire
I found this fence in one of the quiet up-market neighbourhoods of Stellenbosch. Most of the properties in this area either have high walls, electric fences, barbed wire, or a combination of these surrounding them.

Most people in the suburbs of Johannesburg and Durban have high walls and electric fences surrounding their properties. It's quite different in Cape Town though - what you see here isn't really the norm. In Cape Town you'll find that some houses are protected like fortresses and others don't even have a fence, nor a burglar alarm - some times homes in Cape Town don't even have burglar bars.

Something that I find amusing is that when people move from Johannesburg to Cape Town, one of the first things that they do is to build a palisade fence or high wall around their property. While I understand their need to feel secure, it's still just a little amusing to predict how long it will take for the security barrier to be erected. :)

6 thoughts on “Circles of barbed wire

  1. Paul at Leeds daily photo

    I can well understand why people feel the need for this kind of security, nothing worse than not feeling safe in you own home. Years ago I was in the military and a guy was out after curfew and in his drunken state he decided to try and get through the wire. He was found by a dog handler after about an hour hanging there and he was not a pretty sight.

  2. Paul

    Post author

    Wow Paul@Leeds – I hope he came though it okay – those blades are nasty pieces of work.

    (And yes, I agree with you about feeling safe – it’s kinda important.)

  3. Jonathan Carter

    Perhaps I’ve just been lucky to have not been a serious victim of crime before (someone broke into my car once and stole my car radio and then they came back the next week for my speakers outside of work parking in claremont but that’s it) but I’ve never liked these prisons that people build themselves in to. I think it’s just dumb and I’m not sure how much it actually does to improve security besides making people just “feel” safe.

    I totally *dispise* the Jo’burg mentality (at least from my perspective while I stayed there) of people seeing security and high walls and electric fences, etc as a feature that increases property value and desirability in a neighbourwood. What the fuck.

    What bothers me is that I’ve seen this happening more and more in Cape Town too just before I left. Those nice open green neighberhoods that I grew up in are becomming extinct. It saddens me. And while crime plays a factor, it’s people’s attitudes toward it that’s the problem. People will spend tens to hundreds of thousands of Rands to improve security on their home… but will they spend a little to actually help fix the cause of crime? Will they spend an hour a month volunteering for something? Would they donate even R100 a year towards drug rehabilitation programs? The answer is no, they won’t.

    People are selfish and stupid and they disgust me. To be frank I don’t care what happens to the fear mongers and hate spreaders. They deserve what they get.

  4. Paul

    Post author

    Woah – full-on nerve struck there Jonathan. Thanks for the comment – it’s kinda the sentiment that I hold also (except for the last two sentences ;) ).

    You’re so right though – walls and electric fences cost an incredible amount of money. Putting some of that money back into rehabilitation programs (for those rehabilitable) and pooling the rest into law-enforcement could make quite a difference.

    I also agree – walls and fences offer a very false sense of security.

  5. Jonathan Carter

    Indeed, I might have been a bit too harsh with those last two lines. It’s just that I’ve had *so* many arguements with people who are just not capable of thinking outside of their fences and I guess I’ve just given up on trying to get some reason into them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *