By Charndré Emma Kippie
Effects of Covid-19 see speedy growth of SA’s Private Security Industry
Private Security in South Africa is a growing sector, placing it as one of the biggest in the world. Our sector currently holds more than 9 000 registered companies, an estimated 1.5 million qualified guards, and around 450 000 registered active private security guards. Many of these individuals also tend to make up the combined South African police and army.
The private security industry in South Africa provides monitoring, guarding, armed reaction, escorting, investigating and other security-related services to private individuals and companies across the country.
All Private Security Mandates are driven by the Private Security Industry Regulation Act 56 of 2001.
Regulating SA’s Private Security Sector
The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) was appointed in 2002, based on Section 2 of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act (Act No 56 of 2001). The strategic direction of this Authority is derived from the Act and the regulations issued in terms of the Act.
The Authority’s mission is to effectively protect the constitutional rights of all people to life, safety and dignity through the effective promotion and management of the private security industry. It’s primary goals include:
- Regulating the private security industry.
- Exercising effective control over the practice of the occupation of security service providers in the public and national interest.
- Promoting a legitimate private security industry which acts in terms of the principles contained in the Constitution and other applicable law.
- Stimulating a private security industry that is transparent, professional, accountable, equal and accessible.
- Encouraging equal opportunity employment practices in the sector.
““I think that any ordinary security officer who is passionate about leadership can make it to greater heights within this industry. This industry is no longer for security officers only; I have seen lawyers, scientists and finance professionals playing important roles within the industry, so the horizons are wide. Any professional field that can add commercial value within this industry is ideal for new entrants within the industry.” – Manabela Chauke, PSiRA’s Chief Executive Officer
Moving With The Times
In response to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, our country has seen an increase in crimes and violent incidents in the past two years. This has led to the reinforcement of security measures, and the adaptation of new strategies and solutions to safety and security.
Thus, the Private Security sector in South Africa is now growing quite rapidly, and is seen to be providing more and more jobs to citizens amidst some of the highest unemployment rates documented in our country.
PSiRA’s CEO, Manabela Chauke, has previously stated that there has been a 14% increase in registered active security officers, as well as a 33% jump in registered active security businesses, over the past eight years.
With all these movements and occurrences, our Private Security Sector has had to adapt to new trend forecasts to create a safer future for the country.
1. Physical VS. Cyber Security
We live in increasingly digital times, meaning that more and more people are utilising and investing in personal digital devices. These days, criminals are stealing more from victims online than in the corporate world. With private data being stored online, in The Cloud, security companies have been forced to come up with intensive strategies for protecting their clients’ data and engaging with IT infrastructure. Here, we are seeing the lines between the need for physical security and online security blurred.
2. Drones In Demand
Security companies are upgrading, and are now utilising drones to track criminals, especially in suburban locations. However, not all companies and divisions have access to such modern technology due to economic constraints. Drones are expensive tools which pose multiple challenges for digital transformation in the sector.
3. Compliance Challenges
Compliance will always be a top priority in the Private Security sector, especially with more cybersecurity concerns. Alongside the PoPI Act, companies must consider the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Data Security Standard (DSS), and the Payment Card Industry (PCI) when fully complying with all requirements. More education is essential here in the coming years. Cyber security is also no longer just viewed as an IT issue – all individuals of an organisation need to be monitored and mindful of staying secured at all times.
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