Sibusiso Mngomezulu, head of security at CSIR, has a BA in Community Safety and Social Legal Studies specialising in Asset and Crime Risk Management, a diploma in Security Management with Lyceum College (accredited by the University of Pretoria) and studied a Security Specialist Programme in the USA. He also studied a Management Development Programme at the MBA institute in Florida, USA and has a string of military courses under his belt.
Mngomezulu’s first job was as a soldier. “My professional career started in 1993 after some years of studying as an airman in the South African Airforce.
“A project that shaped my career, amongst others, was from my previous employer that was involved in nuclear power development. My role was to provide security around nuclear terrorism.”
“My role and responsibilities at the CSIR in one sentence is: managing the safety and security of the CSIR nationally. I have created my own quality system where I do a 10-minute check of all operational aspects with my managers in the morning. I spend the first 15 minutes of the day checking important communications that need my attention, normally from principals. I prioritise my daily responsibilities with respect to management issues that need my expertise. Before knocking off, I check on my diary for the following day, and allocate time for important tasks to be done the next day.
“My current roles are directed by the current security strategy of the organisation. Once every objective is fulfilled, new targets have to be set. It is important for me, however, to always make room to accommodate any threats that might surface at any given time and force a change in my area of focus.”
When asked what advice he would have for up-and-coming security professionals on how to kick-start their careers, Mngomezulu advises education: “There have been new developments in the risk management fraternity. Ideally, a person who wants to deal with risk management should complete one of these courses. There are different courses, depending at what level one wishes to start.
“At a degree level, one may take a Security Risk Management or purely Risk Management course. Today you can also go for Enterprise Risk Management, which is holistic and covers all business operational aspects. I think being a guard is also an advantage. It gives you a solid foundation and first-hand experience of combating crime.”
He adds that business management skills are also critical. “Business acumen is a must to function in a corporation. For a person coming straight from the high school, a security risk management course (diploma/degree) would be ideal. For those already employed and who wish to improve their skills, any short course on security/risk management with a good curriculum would be a good starting point.
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