Arnoux Maré, group CEO of Innovative Solutions Group and managing director of Innovative Guarding Solutions, questions whether the private security industry, worth R45-billion a year, delivers value for money for home owners. He says that according to the Security Association of South Africa (SASA), as many as 80% of security guards employed by over 9,000 companies are noncompliant with the securities’ industries standards.
Due to the high demand for security in South Africa, particularly by the middle class, guards are being pumped into the market by security companies without receiving proper screening and training. SASA further reported that there are thousands of security training centres that are providing certificates to individuals seeking to enter the industry - without training them.
This is despite the fact that the industry has grown exponentially bigger than SAPS. The Institute for Race Relations’ (IRR) Centre for Risk Analysis South Africa survey 2014/2015 found that South Africa’s private security force quadrupled between 1997 and 2015 from 115,331 registered security officials to just under 487,000. Meanwhile, the 2013/2014 annual report by SAPS shows that the South African police force has around 153,000 sworn police officers.
Worryingly, SASA also found that less than 20% of employers in the security industry are participating in the industry provident fund. Maré said this begs the question “would you entrust your property, assets and people to a company that itself behaves illegally, sometimes going so far as to deduct contributions from employees and not hand them over to the fund?”
He added: “With South Africans having spent over R45-billion on private security in the last financial year alone, and the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill expected to be signed into law this year - reducing the pool of choices by favouring local ownership of the industry - it is high time you evaluate if your security partner still effectively gives a good return on investment.”