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Hotel security highlighted after Sibaya incident
11 Oct 2017 - by Staff reporter
Hotel security has been a hot topic both worldwide and in South Africa during the last week.
Sun International has confirmed that an intrusion occurred at Sibaya Lodge in KwaZulu Natal on the night of September 25. “The Sibaya security immediately reported the matter to the police,” spokesperson for Sun International, Zoleka Skweyiya told TAM. “Sibaya found no evidence of forced entry and both the lock mechanism and additional catch were in working order.”
Zoleka says Sun International continually reviews its security detail across all areas to ensure the safety of guests. “Following this unfortunate incident, we have engaged in discussions with our security and surveillance team, who are currently reviewing security measures in place.”
Zoleka adds that Sun International will also improve communication with guests to raise awareness about safety and to ensure that precautionary measures made available to them are adhered to. These include requests to keep sliding doors locked and to use the additional safety catch provided on the inside.
According to the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa, security is taken into account during the grading of hotels. Onsite parking with security for guests is a requirement for four- and five-star establishments.
The grading guidelines state: “Appropriate, fit-for-purpose safety and security measures throughout the establishment at all times are a requirement for all establishments that want to be graded. A management representative needs to be on-site and responsible for security 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Fedhasa’s KZN operations director, Charles Preece, told TAM that security was an issue that hotel operators, in general, took very seriously.
According to Charles, many hotels have installed cameras in the corridors outside bedrooms as an effective way to identify who comes and goes from a room, while the association urges hotels to prioritise guests’ safety and security at all times.
Hotel operators worldwide are increasingly deploying armed guards, vehicle barricades, X-ray machines and other measures to reduce the risk of attack.