Established in August 2003, South Africa’s Security Industry Alliance, (SIA) is a united body of security associations whose role is to represent common interests within the private security industry. Its prime objective is to communicate as one united voice to an industry incorporating a diverse, unstructured range of security ventures from guarding companies to private investigators. The SIA encourages representation from all associations.
Incorporated under a section 21 company, the SIA’s objectives are primarily to improve standards along with the industry’s public image and its relations with authorities. It also oversees matters relating to legal compliance, and is in essence a one-stop-shop for the security industry. Its strategic liaison with the Department of Police, the Department of Justice and Business Against Crime (plus other private sector bodies) have enhanced strong relationships with PSIRA, SAPS, SASSETA and NPA.
“SIA has been highly instrumental in creating submissions to government on numerous topics affecting the interest of the industry,” says the organisation’s CEO, Steve Conradie. “SIA maintains that there must be a properly regulated industry with a positive image and aims to be the vehicle which will achieve this goal. The reasons for these interactions include building bridges with government departments and to discuss proposed regulations which will have a direct impact on the security industry and consumers. Furthermore, these interactions ensure that government receives a steady flow of accurate information from the industry so that it clearly understands its dynamics.”
The members of SIA represent a broad spectrum of the different functions within the Private Security Industry and include the following:
2. Armed response.
3. Cash management.
4. Electronic installers (CCTV).
5. Electronic manufacturers and distributors.
6. Electric fencing and component manufacturers.
7. Close quarter protection.
8. Event security.
9. Locksmiths and physical security equipment.
10. Security systems.
11. Consumer goods council.
12. In-house security.
SIA Members as at 2010
* SASA (South African Security Association).
* SAIS (South African Institute of Security).
* COM (Chamber of Mines).
* SSEO (Security Services Employers Organisation).
* EXSA (Exhibition Association of SA).
* CGC (Consumer Goods Council).
* SAIDSA (South African Intruder Detection Services Association).
* SANSEA (South African National Employer Association).
* LASA (Locksmiths Association of SA).
* NOPSA (Northern Province Security Association).
* CPASA (Close Protection Association of SA).
* EFCMA (Electric Fence Component and Manufacture Association).
* ESIA (Electronic Security Industry Association).
Current SIA focus areas include the PSIRA, SASSETA, firearms, Workman’s Compensation Act, an industry database and the forming of a Compliance Task Team.
Legal compliance and consumer liability
As a single body uniting the private security industry, one of SIA’s primary objectives has been to ensure that anyone operating a private security company is legally compliant, and to assist in cleaning up the industry in terms of unethical players. This will raise industry standards as well as improve the public image of the private security industry. In order to achieve this goal it is also important to achieve unity in the industry, and through its representation of the member associations, SIA aims to achieve consensus in decision-making and subscribe to best practices.
“By legal compliance for security industry we are referring to matters such as registration with PSIRA, providing workmen’s compensation for security staff, adequate wages, provident fund for staff, adhering to a code of conduct and adequate training for security personnel,” says Conradie.
We experience an increased move from the government departments and the corporate world in employing the services of non-compliant companies. This is not only in contravention of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act (Act 56 of 2001), but also an exploitation of the employees. SIA will therefore increase the focus during 2010 to challenge these practices.
Because South Africa’s security industry is the fastest growing industry in the country, the existence of the Security Industry Alliance is ever more critical. The facts speak for themselves: the security industry currently consists of about 5989 companies, with a total turnover of close to R50 billion. In the guarding sector alone, there are around 390 000 registered employees (one for every 123 of total population) with a sector turnover in excess of R15 billion a year.
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