This sector of the employment generating business has seen exponential growth in the last 10 years driven in large part by a sense of insufficient confidence in the willingness and ability of the SAPS to meet people’s concerns about the risk of crime. Whilst this has generated numerous jobs and encouraged entrepreneurs from the large and small companies to expand, the central monitoring organisation the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA), has struggled to keep pace with the growth.
The result has been a growth of unregulated or uninspected businesses and the associated risks of poor service and poor quality of training. This is further reflected in the loss of confidence that insurance companies have in the capabilities of non-compliant companies and subsequent problems linked to insurance claims.
Recently PSIRA have increased the fees they demand from the companies supplying security services in part to hire more inspectors to drive through compliance with regulations that are already in place and those that are emerging from the proposed changes to regulation that are passing through parliament at present.
Back in Dec 2011 PSIRA gave notice to all security providers that they would be vigorously applying their new Compliance and Enforcement Strategy. In particular they stated they will be using enforcement and prosecution to drive through a new and concerted effort to ensure companies in the security industry are industry compliant and to this end they announced they will be employing surprise inspections.
Apart from premises inspections and they also inspect the officers in the employ and focus on:
- Registration and training status and compliance
- Reporting of engagement/terminations by the relevant security business
- Compliance with uniform requirements as well as firearms
- General conditions of employment
There are over 200, 000 unregistered security guards working in South Africa. This means that there are hundreds of non PSIRA compliant security companies roaming the streets of South Africa. Even more worrying is the amount of unlicensed weapons that these non- compliant security guards and companies are handling on a daily basis. The consequences of this might not seem detrimental however the truth of the matter is that any non- PSIRA complaint business is liable to a hefty fine or a prison sentence of up to 2 years. Every month inspections are uncovering non-compliant companies who are then reported, suspended or charged.