When Centurion Systems first opened its doors in 1986, gate automation was a fairly new – perhaps even alien – concept to the majority of South Africans. While crime was steadily on the rise in the big cities, suburban dwellers still considered themselves to be relatively safe and, in fact, many homes did not even have gates or any sort of security system for that matter, save perhaps for the odd guard dog.
However, the thin veneer of security held by suburbanites soon started to crack against the tide of crime spilling over from more populous areas. As South Africans became more security-conscious, CENTURION founder Pat Dickens soon found himself facing a somewhat unexpected demand for a solution capable of securing homeowners’ newly-installed gates and, being the innovator that he is, set to work developing some of the first gate control systems in the country.
The very first gate motors were relatively basic in terms of their design; however, when two extremely talented engineers – namely Richard Rohman and Ian Rozowsky – joined the fledgling company, the operators started to become increasingly sophisticated and offer functionality over and above mere gate automation.
In 1993, the company opened its first satellite branch in Pinetown, Durban, with a third branch (including CENTURION’s head office in the north of Johannesburg) following two years later, this time in the East Rand.
Today, CENTURION boasts eight fully-fledged branches (not to mention a vast network of distributors and installers) servicing the majority of South Africa’s main business hubs, including Nelspruit, Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein.
To celebrate 30 years of making industry-leading security and convenience available to everyone, we asked some of the branch managers what being part of CENTURION means to them.
“To me, being part of CENTURION means being part of a culture of values, integrity and compelling innovation. Everything that we do, and everything that we are, are informed by these immutable qualities” – Richard Currie, Durban
“CENTURION has been at the forefront of access automation innovation for the past 30 years, and I feel extremely fortunate to have been part of this journey. Delighting our customers with world-class products and service is what drives us” – Steven Williams, Pretoria
“The staff at our branch carry an absolute wealth of knowledge, with some members of the team having been with the company for as long as 15 years. When someone walks into our branch, they will receive world-class customer service and care” – Michelle Williams, Nelson Mandela Bay
“Through a team of highly passionate people and a range of cutting edge access automation solutions, we are able to bring industry-leading security and convenience to Africa and the world” – Jacques van der Westhuizen, Nelspruit