From the Editor's desk: Under siege

Issue 6 2021 News

It’s not often that an issue of Hi-Tech Security Solutions has such a large section devoted to the sector focus as you will find in this issue. We have combined the transport and logistics verticals into one feature as they are so closely connected in the real, violent world of South Africa.

Andrew Seldon, Editor.

While you will find a significant number of editorials in the print issue, there are still more that will appear online over the course of the month. Whether it’s warehousing, transport and other areas of the logistics market, there is a lot happening. It would be wonderful if ‘a lot’ meant business was booming and the economy recovering; sadly, it means, as one person I interviewed said, the industry is under siege.

The only booming part of the industry is crime, which is well funded, well armed, completely without morals or conscience and has the benefit of good intelligence. Of course, another benefit the criminals are able to rely on is the government’s help. If a guard is murdered or wounded in the line of duty, it’s no big deal; but let criminals get a bruise and suddenly it’s a major issue subject to intensive investigation and they want to remove all guns from circulation (except the criminals’ guns, of course, that would be rude).

One story I heard in the preparation for this issue was of a guard who was involved in a shootout, who survived thankfully, although he had a few bullets in him. He managed to kill one of the attackers and when the forensics arrived to ‘investigate’ (the next day), they discovered the body was that of a police officer.

It’s not fair to damn the entire police force however, some of them are committed and face daily dangers and realities that would drive many people crazy. It’s a tough job, but for all the good they do there is always the rotten apple that tarnishes them all.

The worst result of all this is that logistics companies are now spending more on security and insurance (nothing like a riot or two to push up the premiums), which basically means each part of the supply chain is pushing up their prices and it is the consumer who will pay for it at the end of the day. The fact that more people are unemployed and more businesses are closing their doors and those that are still running are looking at automating as much as they can means there is no happy ending to this state of affairs.

Many people believe that being in the security industry is great as you basically print money given the criminal state of South Africa. I don’t know if that was true in years gone by, but as Hi-Tech Security Solutions’ readers will know, that certainly does not apply today.


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