Mutual Safes & Security Group AutoSpec


Introduction and Portfolio to the Mutual Austen Safe Group

Factory and Premises

Established in 1984, Mutual's first factory premises were situated in Rosslyn, north of Pretoria where about 10 factory workers formed this fledgling company.
After a year Mutual had outgrown these premises and moved to Despatch, Pretoria. At the beginning of 1996 Mutual moved to a new and larger premises in Zasm St, Waltloo from where it operates today.
Since 1996, the company has achieved an average growth of 30% per annum and can confidently state that we are leaders in the field of total security solutions.

State President's Export Award

In 1990, Mutual won the State President's Award for Export Achievement in the Manufacturing Sector.

Technology Top 100 companies
Mutual was nominated as a Technology Top 100 Finalist at Gallagher Estate on 29 November 2000.
The MTN Business Day's Technology Top 100 is one of the foremost South African business awards programs identifying 'Technologically Excellent' companies.

The merging of the Presidents Award for Export Achievement and the MTN Business Day Technology Top 100 Awards is based upon the fact that both programs have been profiled to identify role models of organisations and people who, through in genuity and taking advantage of the new dispensation in the country, have successfully positioned their organisations as global players.

By virtue of the similarity and objectives of both the programs - coupled with the fact that to be a prominent export organisation one has to be technologically excellent. The awards acknowledge the achievements of S.A. organisations in technological excellence and export achievement.

A brief description of our divisions follows for your further information.
Safe Division

Our range of products include hotel safes, wall safes, gun safes, office safes, safety deposit lockers, FD40 cabinets, fire resistant cabinets for both documents and data, record room, strongroom and vault doors, portable vaults, bullet resistant pay windows, anti-bandit doors, specialised cash in transit safes, and access control booths.

Mutual Safe and Security supplies most of South Africa's retail chains and fast food chains with their safe requirements. Mutual is the preferred supplier to the petroleum industry, and also supplies other industry sectors such as construction, hospitality and banking. Mutual manufactured and installed the high security installation of the South African Reserve Bank's Johannesburg headquarters. References from our clients are available upon request.

Mutual became the first South African safe manufacturer to be awarded the S.A.B.S. 953.1990 mark for gun and weapon cabinets, and the company supplies and is recommended by the S.A. Police.


In 2002, the strongest barrier materials have been developed in conjunction with a European partner and are now used in all of Mutual's products. This has resulted in good looking, slim line safes of the very highest strength with added advantage of the lowest possible weights.

Our active research and development division keeps up to date with international trends by our constant exposure at international trade fairs. We are leaders in design and we pride ourselves on our pro-activity in the high risk environment of South Africa today.

Pneumatic Airtube Division

Airtube systems provide rapid, cost effective and efficient movement of a wide range of samples, components, documents and cash weighing up to 15kgs within the tube work. Innovative computerised multi-stationed transfer systems provide secure transportation within buildings and or across entire sites.

This system is ideally suited to the South African high-risk environments in that it facilitates the swift movement of cash from point of sale to a secure cash area thereby greatly reducing the risk of theft and attack.

The division is certified under ISO9003 which is a first for the industry, and ensures the quality conscious customer of a top quality installation - paramount to the success of the system.

Lock Division
Mutual Safe and Security Group hold exclusive agencies for imported high security locks and cam locks used in high risk situations such as banks, casinos and jewellery outlets. Austen Services, a division of the Mutual Group, has a cell lock manufacturing plant in Pretoria.

Service Division

In 2002 Mutual purchased the assets and the intellectual property of Austen and shortly after that commenced opeining fully equipped service depots country wide.

Export Division

We are actively exporting to many countries in Europe, United States and Africa. Over the past 15 years we have established an excellent market for our products worldwide. Exports form about 40% of Mutual's business and Mutual exhibits on numerous international trade fairs on an annual basis.

We are South African Bureau of Standards approved (SABS) and hold ISO 9001/2000 accreditation. We are also approved by the Underwriter laboratory of USA amongst other international qualifications and we are listed in the European Safe Ratings.

Mutual's largest foreign office is situated in California where the company warehouses and distributes, on a nation wide basis, a full range of UL and other safes.

International Qualifications

As well as S.A.B.S. category safes and doors the group also manufactures a full range of UL approved safes i.e. approved by dht American Underwriters Laboratory of Chicago - another international stamp of approval.

The product is further qualified internationally as follows:
EUROPE - European Safe List
E.E.C. - ISO 9000 / 9002
GERMANY - Vdma Einbruchschutz Sicherheitsstufe
NETHERLANDS - Dutch Book of Safe Ratings
DENMARK - Danish Red Label
HUNGARY - Association of Hungarian Insurance Companies


- S.A.B.S. 751 - burglar resisting safes - Category 1, 2, 2 ADM, 2 ADM D3, 3, 4 and 5
- S.A.B.S. 949 - strongroom doors - Category 1, 2, 2 ADM, 3, 4, and 5
- S.A.B.S. 052 - Pre-fabricated vaults with strongroom doors - Category 2 ADM, 3, 4 and 5
- S.A.B.S. 953 - small arms safes - B1 and B2.
- S.A.B.S. 0177 Part 2 & S.A.B.S. 1253 Class D - fire resisting door units - record rooms Class A, B and D

Integrated Security Systems
In 2003 a new division supplying sales and service of related security products such as access control

booths, interlocking, time delays and locks, security systems, CCTV, biometrics, cross payment protection, intelligent safe technology and trolley guard. These products complement our group's core business and customer requirements.

During the course of 2002 Mutual concluded the purchase of the Austen Safe Business - once the largest company in SA. The brand names of Austen, Bischoff and Giant are now part of the Mutual Austen Safe and Security Group. In addition three new divisions have been created in the group:
  • Austen Services - for the servicing and repair of safes
  • Austen Cell Locks - manufacture and supply of cell locks
  • Austen Sales - sales division for Austen products

  • On 28th March, 2003 Mutual was awarded the ISO 9001/2000 certification for quality management systems. This level incorporates ISO 9001 for the design of the safes, strongroom doors and other physical security products, ISO 9002 for the manufacture and supply, and ISO 9003 for the installation and servicing of these products. This places Mutual in a class of it's own in the South African Safe manufacturing business.

    This year, 2004, Mutual celebrates 20 years in the safe business - and the company continues to expand with new branches having opened in Bloemfontein, Nelspruit and Johannesburg - as well as further expansion into new export markets - the Mutual / Austen group is set for a record breaking year in 2005.