Bigger than the Army and State Police: What You Didn’t Know about the Private Security Industry in South Africa

Bigger than the Army and State Police: What You Didn’t Know about the Private Security Industry in South Africa

Bigger than the Army and State Police: What You Didn’t Know about the Private Security Industry in South Africa

Did you know that South Africa’s private security industry is among the largest worldwide, with thousands of registered security companies and active private guards?

Here are some interesting facts and numbers about this exciting and growing industry that involves all security-related services provided to private individuals and businesses in a country, covering guarding, monitoring, cash-in-transit and armed reaction.

Bigger than the Army and State Police

The private security industry in South Africa is among the largest in the world. In fact, it ranked as the 4th largest behind Guatemala, India and Honduras, in a 2015 research report released by Africa Check. The same study argued that South Africa had almost three private security personnel for every state police employee.

South African private security forces span across over 9,000 registered companies, and more than 400,000 registered private security guards. A further 1.5 million private guards are qualified but inactive, according to a 2013 CNN article. The industry has expanded since then, and it’s likely to be among the top three by 2019.

Find out more about the latest private security industry trends, regulatory and compliance requirements at the first Private Security Indaba to be held on 3-4 July 2019 at the Emperors Palace, Johannesburg. Register here to secure your seat today. Limited seats are available.

More Wealth, Not Just Crime

The massive numbers of private security personnel relate to the high levels of serious crime, theft and other crime-related incidents in the country, which lead to more demand for private guarding and asset monitoring services. The neighbourhood policing and armed reaction services are perhaps the most popular examples.

Some suggest that the lack of public funding, in general, towards more policing resources in the country has allowed more businesses to move into the market and offer private security services. This should not be viewed as replacing the state’s entity, The South African Police Service (SAPS), but to support efforts to curb crime and reinforce security for all citizens.

There are less known facts about the industry, such as the more rapid increase in the number of high-wealth individuals in South Africa in comparison with the rest of Africa and other countries, which could also explain the boom. These high-net individuals may need outsourced individual security and asset protection, other investigative and escort services that are not provided by the state’s policing entity.

For the first time in the country, the Private Security Indaba 2019 will openly address the industry’s continuous transformation and the importance of crime prevention public-private partnerships. View here the full event agenda and the notable keynote speakers.

PSiRA – the Private Security Industry’s Regulator

The expansion of the industry prompts more discussion about tighter industry regulations and remains a controversial topic around the official dinner table. The industry is currently regulated by the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSiRA) established in 2002 after the Private Security Industry Regulation Act came into effect in 2001.

PSiRA ensures effective regulation and control of private security operations. Private security companies are required by law to be registered with the PSiRA authority, which oversees and maintains the stability, accountability and professionalism of the industry.

New regulations and legislation proposed is going to bring further changes to the evolving private security industry. For the first time, PSiRA is bringing together Government entities and industry stakeholders from South Africa and beyond under the same roof to discuss compliance, innovations, and challenges facing the industry, and the way going forward.

PSiRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) is now hosting the first Private Security Indaba on 3 and 4 July 2019, at the Emperor’s Palace, Johannesburg.

The event will include keynote addresses from industry leaders, an exhibition of security-related services, networking and a Gala Dinner.

Private Security Indaba 2019
PSiRA has invited captains of industry, researchers and Government entities from First World countries and on the African diaspora to talk challenges bewildering the industry, global trends and sharing innovative ways of doing business in this animated field.
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