Domestic Workers and Estates

Constitutional human rights vs Estates and security.

Domestic Security Estate – The article discusses a ruling by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) declaring the practice of searching domestic workers and their bags as unconstitutional. This decision came after a case was brought forward by a resident of the Eagle Canyon golf estate in Gauteng, who claimed that the searches were racist and xenophobic.

Complaint Origin: In 2023, a property owner within the estate lodged the complaint after unsuccessfully attempting to resolve the issue with the estate’s management before approaching the SAHRC.

Searches Described:

domestic workers and estates by Art Wager. As a theft prevention measure, estate staff conducted searches, requiring domestic workers to disclose the contents of their bags and parcels when leaving the premises. If any items were discovered, they would contact the worker’s homeowner to confirm ownership.

Investigation and Mediation: The SAHRC conducted a lengthy investigation, which included mediation efforts between the parties. Additionally, affidavits from domestic workers and homeowners confirmed the discriminatory nature of the searches.


The commission found that authorities targeted black people, foreign nationals, domestic workers, and gardeners in the searches, while white individuals escaped the same scrutiny.


With a change in management at the estate, they halted the practice. The new management agreed with the SAHRC’s position that while security searches are permissible, they must not target specific groups.

Constitutional Analysis: The SAHRC’s constitutional analysis concluded that such targeted searches were not permissible for the specific group in question.

The article highlights the tension between security measures and human rights, emphasizing the importance of non-discriminatory practices in security protocols. The resolution of the case reflects a move towards more equitable treatment of workers and respect for their rights as enshrined in the constitution.

Link to the full news report on Eagle Canyon Golf Estate :

Another article you might find interesting;

A reminder to all estate board of directors and security managers: Always review your security risk assessment. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to consult with your independent security risk assessor. Written by Andre Mundell.

We carry out security risk assessments throughout Gauteng, including Bloemfontein, Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Midrand, Sandton, and Centurion.

A Security talk with your partner.

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Written by Andre Mundell
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