S. Africa’s Burgeoning Private Security Industry Facing Legislation

S. Africa’s Burgeoning Private Security Industry Facing Legislation

South Africa’s private security industry is estimated to include more than a million security guards but fewer than half are registered, according to a Business Day Report at iAfrica.com.

Now the industry is facing unprecedented parliamentary and regulatory upheaval, awaiting the outcome of decisions in parliament and the courts over how it is to be controlled.

With crime statistics out of South Africa considered unreliable, a Business Day report at iAfrica.com says the proliferation of the private security industry is the most articulate indicator of violence and lawlessness in South Africa.

South Africa’s “army” of private security personnel, many armed, have risen to fill a niche.

A private security watchdog, the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority has  increased membership fees for South Africa’s 9,000-plus security firms and 450,000 registered personnel, most of them guards, the report says.

Some of the issues facing the industry include whether security costs should be tax deductible, financial pressure facing private security companies and participants’ identity crisis, the report says.

The government hopes for a partnership between state and private security.

The Private Security Industry Regulation Act Amendment Bill of 2012 was twice rejected by parliament’s police portfolio committee and is in its third draft, according to iAfrica.com.