Steve Conradie, CEO of the Security Industry Alliance (SIA), spoke to
Hi-Tech Security Solutions about the dangers of disregarding the Security Industry Regulation Act (Act 56 of 2001).
“The Act places an explicit legal onus on consumers of private security services to use only legitimate and registered security service providers. This in essence is those companies that have registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA),” Conradie said. “Consumers can be found guilty of a criminal offence and can be prosecuted for intentionally or negligently using the services of a security business which is non-compliant with the Act.”
SIA is anxious to drive compliance to the Act to ensure the protection of the country’s citizens. “We are currently in the process of forming a group of various stakeholders to rid the industry of the fly-by-night security companies,” he said.
Conradie explained that consumers must not assume that with the introduction of the Consumer Protection Act, they would automatically be protected from the less than exemplary service they receive from non-compliant companies. “At the end of the day, the onus is on the consumer to ensure that, as a minimum requirement:
1. Security companies they employ are registered with PSIRA.
2. These companies are paying at least minimum wages to their employees.
3. These companies are paying into a Provident Fund for their employees. If any of these elements is not in place, you need to walk away and find a company that is adhering to these basic requirements.
“We continue to see gross exploitation of security company employees by the dubious security companies. The knock-on impact this has on industry is huge, with many security company employees not suitably qualified and therefore posing a huge risk to the safety and security of the population,” added Conradie.
He believes that one of the major contributing factors to the influx of non-compliant companies is the massive growth within corporate entities. “The specialised service of security is perceived as a commodity by many corporate entities. Typically, the clerk who is processing the contract renewal documentation is not aware of the legal compliance required and therefore the level of interest in employing compliant security companies is not a driving concern. Management needs to take back the responsibility for ensuring that these non-compliant companies are driven back to the kerb by carefully checking their credentials and employee basic employment rights records.”
At last year’s SIA conference there was a call to the public to become more involved in the process of separating the wheat from the chaff and ensuring that they check security provider credentials carefully and conscientiously. “Ultimately this is a role delegated to PSIRA, but sadly, there do seem to be some shortfalls in the system so it is now incumbent firstly upon the compliant security service providers to adopt more of a whistle blowing position and, secondly, for the consumer to insist on compliance for their own protection.”
Conradie has the following advice for security service providers who wish to ensure that they are compliant in terms of the law:
* Register your company with PSIRA.
* All of the employees deployed to render a security service should be registered with PSIRA.
* All the security officers deployed to provide a security service should be in possession of the necessary training certificates from accredited training establishments.
* All the security officers should be paid at the least minimum statutory wage applicable in terms of the Sectoral Determination 6 for the private security industry issued by the Minister of Labour.
* The security service provider must guarantee that all the security officers deployed on the premises will adhere to the statutory code of conduct applicable to all security service providers as issued by PSIRA.
* The security service provider must provide proof that its security officers are specifically trained for the task they have been assigned to.
* All security officers are required to be members of a recognised provident fund and the company must contribute 7,0% of their salary to the fund with the employee contributing a further 7,0% of their salary. The security service provider should produce a current and valid compliance certificate from the recognised and approved provident fund in terms of the FSB (Financial Services Board). If the security service provider is exempt from the Private Security Sector Provident Fund then proof of exemption to be provided.
* The security service provider should be registered at SARS for Income Tax, VAT, PAYE, SDL and UIF. A valid and current Tax Clearance Certificate to be provided.
* The security service provider should be registered for Workmens Compensation with the Office of the Compensation Commissioner and a valid and current Letter of Good Standing should be provided.
* The security service provider should comply with the broad-based black economic empowerment (BBEEE) requirements and a valid proof of BEE status should be provided.
* Proof of membership of applicable employer organisations or industry trade associations to support to tender submission.
Information on other relevant document requirements are available on the SIA website: www.securityalliance.co.za
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