PSIRA on its 2015/16 Annual Report; Disciplinary proceedings against Mr Robert McBride

This premium content has been made freely available


14 October 2016
Chairperson: Mr F Beukman (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority Annual Report

The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority briefed the Committee on the entity’s 2015/16 Annual Report.  The briefing began with an overview by the Authority’s Director on key achievements and highlights for the year under review, areas of improvement and progress on previous matters raised by the Committee since its last engagement with Authority.
The presentation moved on to programme one, of, law enforcement, in terms of:

  • Compliance inspections conducted
  • Provincial breakdown of inspections conducted
  • Inspections according to security business size
  • Enforcement investigations
  • Criminals investigations and cases
  • Dockets according to security business size
  • Compliance analysis of security businesses, security officers and firearms
  • Improper conduct prosecutions
  • Regulatory sub-committees

Under programme two, registrations, communication and stakeholder engagement, the Committee was informed of security officer registration (of those employed), security officer applications processed, security officer registrations and the provincial breakdown of business registration. Under industry training, the presentation looked at accredited training centres, course reports and training sub-committees. Under research and development, Members were told of research conducted in terms of their main research findings and main recommendations, research findings and approved policies. In terms of human capital, the presentation pointed to:

  • Composition of permanent staff per programme
  • Composition of all staff per programme
  • Personnel cost per programme
  • Vacancy rate per programme
  • Employment and vacancies
  • Terminations of employment
  • Labour relations management

Turning to the organisational performance of Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority for 2015/16, the presentation looked at strategic objectives, planned targets and actual achievement per programme where it was noted that the targets not achieved were contained in programme three. Governance and financial results contained the statement of financial position, statement of cash flow and fruitless and wasteful expenditure. This section of the presentation also discussed notes on financial statements, ongoing concerns and liquidity and the audit opinion in terms of emphasis of matters and steps taken by the Authority to address these findings.

The Committee wanted to know what steps were taken by the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority to ensure there were no problems with submission of financial statements to the Auditor General for the 2016/17 audit, what consequence management steps were taken particularly in terms of fruitless expenditure, and steps taken to improve the reliability of information submitted as this was one of the findings of the Office of the Auditor General. Members were encouraged by the increase in revenue but also wanted to know if the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority conducted follow-up investigations because there were concerns around no record keeping during Authority investigations, if Council meetings were taking place as scheduled and if the attendance of these meetings were adequate and the status of the new building. There was discussion on crowd control in terms of private security in light of the Fees Must Fall protests, what was being done about security companies having uniforms very similar to that of SA Police Services, legal actions the Authority was involved in, and the resolving of bad debts. Members also directed questions around the inclusion of people with disabilities in training programmes, if vetting and random inspections found that a large number of security officers were often foreign, perhaps without the necessary papers and permits, pending investigations and what the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority was doing to encourage ownership and control of security businesses by historically disadvantaged persons and promoting the development of security services that were responsive to the needs of communities so the industry was not limited to the preserve of the middle class and rich. Concerns were raised around the amount of resignations in the Authority particularly in the core law enforcement programme – Members sought more information on the nature of these resignations, terminations and dismissals and when the vacancies would be filled.

The Committee also questioned what was being done to improve attendance at Council meetings, if there was sufficient discussion between the Council and audit and risk committees and if the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority would continue to outsource the internal audit function. Further questions were asked about the inclusion of human rights practices in training and the premise behind the regulation prohibiting competent security officers from using/carrying their personally licensed firearms on duty. There was discussion on the effect on the work of the Authority, of not having the new regulations and Amendment Act in place, how having the regulations and Act in place could improve the work of the Authority, and if the Authority would take the hypothetical opportunity to change regulations in light of challenges experienced in the Fees Must Fall protests.

The Committee noted the overall positive improvement in the entity but highlighted that a clean audit could be achieved if the findings of the Auditor General were addressed. The Committee would be drafting recommendations on the Annual Report performance of the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority and be meeting with audit committees to further strengthen oversight. 

Meeting report

Preliminary recommendations for the Civilian Secretariat for Police and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate based on yesterday’s 2015/16 Annual Report briefings of both entities

Touching on the proceedings of the previous day, the Chairperson reiterated that the Committee was not pleased with the performance of the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CPS) and so it would be called with its audit committee to account to the Committee in November. Some recommendations made included:

-The Committee required the Secretariat to reconsider the specifics on the recommendations of the Auditor-General of SA (AGSA) for it to be specific and not too broad and generic

The Committee recommended:

  • The CSP revise financial targets to keep it in line with SMART principles
  • The CSP set SMART targets with specific reference to timelines for implementation of each of the AG’s recommendations and report to the Committee within three months
  • The CSP appoint a mandate holder with the authority to implement the AG recommendations within the stipulated timelines
  • The CSP develop a turnaround strategy for all 43 AG recommendations within two weeks and report thereon
  • The Executive authority urgently filled the position of Secretary of Police and all other critical senior management posts immediately
  • The CSP resolved the debt payment with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate |(IPID) within three months and report on the outcome
  • All tenders were advertised on the website of the CSP
  • The research on demilitarisation and professionalisation of SAPS must include the entire organisation and not only two components
  • The Secretariat urgently used its own budget performance analysis with a view of reaching its revised targets to lead by example
  • The audit committee of the CSP must see the speedy implementation of the recommendations
  • The CSP must present on core business programmes to the Committee within two weeks

The Committee was also briefed on the 2015/16 Annual Report of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) the previous day where some preliminary recommendations included:

  • IPID fill all management vacancies immediately
  • Minister of Police finalise the senior appointments in the IPID structure
  • IPID revise performance indicators and targets to conform with SMART principles
  • Inconsistencies with sanctions for SAPS members in the outcomes of disciplinary hearings
  • IPID should minimise dependence on police in technology and all operational matters
  • IPID must deal with systemic corruption in a more structured manner in order to effect a change on the behaviour of SAPS
  • IPID must find ways of reducing the number of civil claims against it
  • IPID must find innovative ways of dealing with complaints monitoring from members of the public and giving feedback reports to complainants
  • The Committee supported the efforts of IPID to achieve a turnaround and congratulated the management on obtaining a clean audit

Members were free to submit any further recommendations or input.

Request to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Mr Robert McBride

The Chairperson said the matter came up during the previous day’s ATC, the Speaker noted the “request by Minister of Police following Constitutional Court ruling on IPID head (1) A letter dated 7 September 2016 has been received from the Minister of Police, requesting the Assembly to mandate the Portfolio Committee on Police to consider exercising its powers in terms of section 6(6) of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act, 2011 (No 1 of 2011) as amended by the Constitutional Court in its order in McBride v Minister of Police and Another [2016] ZACC 30. Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Police for consideration”.

The previous day the Committee formally considered that documents would be made available to Members. The legal opinion received from Parliament was that the Committee was dependent on a resolution of the House to proceed with such request. Looking at the Rules of Parliament, specifically rule 227 1 (A) (previously 201), said a Portfolio Committee must deal with Bills and other matters falling within its portfolio as outlined in the Constitution, legislation, these Rules, the Joint Rules or by resolution of the Assembly. The Rules, Joint Rules and Constitution were clear that a Portfolio Committee may deal with this matter.

In light of the referral from the Speaker and that the Rules said “must deal” there was no option but for the Committee to deal with it. Given also the urgency of the matter the proposal was to ensure Members received copies of the relevant documents and that the Committee reconvene the following Tuesday to go through and reflect on the documents, look at the request of the Minister in detail and then consider and discuss the matter. Without prejudgement, it would be prudent for the Committee to deal with this matter which was also in the public domain. The AG also raised the issue of leadership in IPID.

On a purely procedural level, Mr Z Mbhele (DA) agreed with the proposal.

Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) also agreed with the proposal.

Members would be provided with the document packs that day.                                         

Committee Business

Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) Annual Report 2015/16

Prof Fikile Mazibuko, Chairperson PSIRA Council, noted that apologies for absence were rendered by Mr Joy Rathebe (Deputy Chairperson) and Adv. Nontokozo Mthembu who was also a Council member.

The Chairperson highlighted the importance of the day’s briefing given topical issues in the media like Fees Must Fall in addition to the Annual Report.

Mr Manamela (Sam) Chauke, PSIRA Director (CEO), began by outlining key highlights in achievements in:

  • Strategic objectives
  • Financial performance 2015/16
  • Service delivery
  • Stakeholder engagements
  • Human capital
  • Research and development

Since the last engagement with the Committee on 24 May 2016, progress had been made with:

-Governance framework: a legal opinion was sought from the Office of the State Law Adviser on whether to publish the governance framework on the gazette and the recommendation was to publish the framework

-Appointment of new Council: recommendations were forwarded to the Minister for submission to Cabinet. Progress was awaited from the Minister’s office. The term of the current Council had been extended until new appointments were finalised.                     

Mr Stefan Badenhorst, PSIAR Acting Deputy Director: Law Enforcement, took the Committee through this programme by looking at the compliance inspections conducted at security service providers, the provincial breakdown of inspections conducted, inspections according to security business size and enforcement investigations. The programme also covered criminal investigations/cases, dockets according to security business size and a compliance analysis of firearms, security businesses and security officers. The presentation also touched on the number of firearm enquiries processed, improper conduct prosecutions and regulatory sub-committees.

Ms Mpho Mofikoe, PSIRA Deputy Director: Communications, CRM and Training, outlined the number of security officers registered (employed) noting that the number of registered active (employed) security officers had increased by 8.2%compared to a decline of 7.29% in the previous financial year. The presentation then covered the number of security officers’ applications processed, security officers’ registration and the provincial breakdown of business registration. In terms of training, the programme discussed the number of accredited training centres in the provinces, course reports and training sub-committees.

Looking at communications and stakeholder relations in more detail,

-Improving industry compliance through effective stakeholder engagement:

  • 17 provincial industry compliance forums were conducted
  • 52 employer/employee sessions were conducted in partnership with the Private Security Provident Fund
  • 2 provincial industry training compliance established in Limpopo and KZN
  • 6 industry training capacity building workshops

-Empowering consumers:

  • 70 public awareness programmes conducted on PSIRA’s role and functions through mall and trade exhibitions, outreach programmes, CSI, media campaigns etc.

-Review of annual fees consultation sessions:

  • Consultations sessions conducted in all nine provinces to improve compliance and strengthen stakeholder relations

-Improving industry compliance through effective stakeholder engagement:

  • 25 awareness programmes on sectoral determination
  • Consumer education initiatives
  • Memorandum of Understanding between PSIRA and UNISA to expedite the development of qualifications for the industry
  • Provincial training compliance forum launched
  • Inaugural launch of the Private Security Pan African Forum

With research and development, a study entitled The Barrel of the Gun: Improving the Regulation and Control of the Use of Firearms within the Private Security Industry in South Africa was conducted to address the (mis)use of firearms (legally and illegally) in the private security industry. Main research findings included:

  • Misalignment of the PSIRA Act (2002) and the Firearms Control Act (2000)
  • Non-compliance in the possession and use of firearms
  • PSIRA’s inspectors (in)competency to handle firearms
  • Non-inspections of firearm training centres
  • Disorganised Central Firearms Registry (CFR) database

Main recommendations made in the research included:

  • Information sharing between PSIRA and the CFR
  • Improved system of independent audits of firearms licences
  • Registration and inspection of firearms training centres
  • Training of PSIRA inspectors on firearms competency
  • Establishment of a firearms registration unit within the PSIRA registration department

Research was also conducted on training standards in the SA Private Security Industry (PSI) where the aim of the research was improving training standards which compromised a central element of the PSI. The main research findings in this regard included:

  • The Training Security Officers Regulations of 1992 were now outdated and insufficient
  • The training in the PSI was undergoing a transition in order to be aligned to the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (SASSETA)
  • The NQF SASSETA regime was viewed as not affordable to the ordinary would-be private security officer
  • The new draft regulations for the training of security providers, 1996, will change the face of the PSI

Main recommendations of the research were for PSIRA to:

  • Determine and effectively enforce minimum standards of occupational conduct
  • Promote high standards in the training of security service providers and prospective security service providers through the draft regulations of 1996
  • Must register as a professional body in order to improve training standards in the PSI

Research surveys were also undertaken on:

  • The enforcement of the PSIRA mandate: The Role of Inspections (PSIRA inspector’s role in regulating the PSI in SA)
  • Regulation of the PSI in SA: Perspectives that Matter (general PSIRA staff sentiments regarding their role in regulating the PSI in SA)
  • PSIRA initiated challenges: unresponsiveness (of external targets groups and role players) to PSIRA initiated surveys
  • Solution: surveys to be conducted by independent service providers in future to ensure credibility and independence

Approved policies included:

  • Advisory document to the Minister of Police in terms of section 2 (c) of the PSIRA Act/ 2001: policy guideline for crime prevention between the government of SA and private security providers (promoting partnerships for crime prevention between the state and private security providers)
  • Research and development policy and strategy: for the proper and effective functioning of PSIRA’s research and development unit
  • Partnerships with institutions of higher learning: collaboration between PSIRA and Wits (Mandela Institute-Oliver Schreiner School of Law) in presenting a post-graduate certificate course in Private Security Services Law (NQF Level 8). Collaboration also with UNISA.                      

Ms Mmatlou Sebogodi, PSIRA Deputy Director: Finance and Administration, then took Members through information relating to human capital by looking at the composition of permanent staff per programme in PSIRA, composition of all staff per programme, personnel cost per programme and the vacancy rate per programme. Further information was provided on terminations of employment and labour relations management.

Going through the 2015/16 organisational performance of PSIRA, Members were taken through strategic objectives, targets and actual achievement thereof.  Targets not achieved included:

-Programme three:

  • Percentage of new registration certificates rolled out (on active security businesses)
  • Number of targeted area to expand service delivery of the Authority
  • Number of completed surveys

Ms Sebogodi outlined the governance and financial results of the entity by looking at the statements of financial position as for the year ended 31 March 2016, statement of cash flow and notes to the annual financial statements. Fruitless and wasteful expenditure related to:

  • SARS penalties (written warning issued)
  • SARS interest (written warning issued)
  • Flight costs (under investigation)
  • Interest on creditors accounts (procedures implemented)
  • Overpayment on salary (being recovered)
  • Unclaimed loss of assets (procedures implemented)

Ms Sebogodi outlined the ongoing concerns and liquidity in PSIRA for 2015/16 where issues included:

  • Improvement in net assets
  • Liquidity issues: increases in cash balances
  • Working capital projection for three years showed PSIRA was both solvent and liquid
  • Identifying revenue enhancement and cost containment measures
  • Credit notes processed for overbilling instead of paying cash
  • Current performance in 2016/17 for five months was a net surplus of R14 million over budget
  • Cash balance as at 31 August 2016 was R71 million
  • PSIRA’s ability to raise revenue was based on legislation therefore strengthening the ability to continue to exist despite ongoing concerns

Looking at the audit opinion of PSIRA for the financial year under review, the Authority obtained an unqualified audit with an emphasis of matters on:

  • Restatement of corresponding figures
  • Material impairments
  • Significant uncertainties
  • Performance against predetermined objectives systems to improve the integrity of data presented
  • Compliance with legislation
  • Internal control


The Chairperson noted that for this year’s Annual Report proceedings, the Committee would focus a lot on the report of the AG and general health of the business and management environment.  In terms of the police portfolio the Committee oversees, only IPID was able to achieve a clean audit of financial statements were everything was found to be in order – in terms of action plans, what steps would PSIRA be taking to ensure there were no problems when the final statements were given to the AG for the 2016/17 audit. More information was also needed on the consequence management steps taken. An indication was also needed on the steps taken to improve the reliability of information submitted which was one of the AG findings.

Ms Sebogodi explained that for submission of the financial statements for the 2016/17 financial year, PSIRA had implemented a detailed action plan together with “operation clean audit” to review whether the actions proposed to address the audit finding addressed the route cause to ensure proper processes were in place to ensure the finding was not repeated. Preparers of the financial statements would also be taken to a GRAP refresher course along with the implementation of a project plan to ensure there was ample time for senior managers in the audit committee and internal audit to review the financial statements. There was only one material finding by the AG for the 2015/16 Annual Report in relation to erroneously captured debtors.

The Chairperson asked if there was a clear distinction between the roles of the person who compiled the financial statements and the person who oversaw it and if PSIRA was happy with the different levels of expertise because that was quite vital for assurance of the Committee.

Ms Sebogodi affirmed this. 

Mr Chauke explained that with consequence management, when employees resigned this was made known to the AG and there was nothing much PSIRA could do in those cases where in some historical cases charges were also laid against the employees. PSIRA had a forensics unit which dealt with issues of corruption where all matters of irregular expenditure and loss must be investigated by the unit to ensure there was consequence management. Instead of leaving matters for the end of the financial year, they were now being dealt with as they occurred so there was control. Issues of reliability were also argued with the AG at length – the driver of reliability was the legacy system being used by PSIRA which caused a number of inefficiencies but new systems were being procured in the hope of solving challenges with reliability. The new system would also allow for better interface between finance and operations when extracting data and preparing financial statements.

Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) saw that a lot of good work was being done by PSIRA and she was encouraged to see the increase in revenue. With the inspections, was there follow up on what the last inspection findings were to ascertain if there was improvement? Did PSIRA check if there was proper recording during those inspections? During its oversight visit to the Eastern Cape, the Committee noted inspections done on security companies but that there were no records on what happened. She wanted to know if all meetings of Council were taking place as scheduled and if the attendance was adequate. She recently saw on TV that students were throwing paving bricks at security guards and the guards were throwing them back at the students – more information was needed on crowd control. A lot of security guards were still being seen wearing uniforms that looked very much like SAPS uniforms, what was being done about this? She sought more information on legal actions where PSIRA was a defendant and those in which the Authority was a complainant. Was the issue of bad debts resolved? When would the new building be built, once and for all?

Prof Mazibuko indicated that Council met regularly where all structured meetings were honoured. There were an additional few special meetings to deal with procurement and staffing issues. Attendance at these meetings ranged from 75% to 100%. 

On the question of follow-up inspections where non-compliance was found, Mr Badenhorst said this was indeed done as part of the inspection programme of PSIRA where non-compliance was found and action was taken against the person in terms of the code of conduct. Record-keeping was also part of the inspections process to review findings of previous inspections when embarking on new ones. These records were maintained electronically in terms of when the inspection was done, actions taken and the actual inspection report itself.

With crowd control at institutions of higher learning currently, it was an extremely serious issue – private security was there to provide increased protection to persons and property when the security would be accountable to the client only. As the role of private security evolved, lines were beginning to blur such as intelligence gathering by private security, increased private investigation and, currently, protest control. There was an element of crowd control in the work of private security in terms of controlling access and event security etc. as specifically defined in the PSIRA legislation. Training curricula would then speak to these areas of work and to work closely with other people involved in the planning of the event. In the current Fees Must Fall protests, one was seeing private security at the forefront of ensuring order and safety which was a matter of concern for PSIRA. Equipping private security with the necessary protective and defensive gear and equipment was a labour requirement in terms of legislation but the main challenge was having private security at the forefront of dealing with the protest action. SA had around 33 main institutions of higher learning with around 55 campuses and 22 of those campuses were currently affected by the protests. PSIRA was on the ground to monitor these institutions for compliance to ensure the security companies and officers contracted were legally registered – 70 inspections were conducted over the last two or three weeks at these institutions. Education was critical and a number of presentations were made to the institutions of higher learning in terms of PSIRA legislation and the contracting of security companies – using private security as a direct means of riot control was a problem. It was also a problem where private security was fulfilling functions outside of what was defined as security in terms of legislation, training of security officers in this environment, not providing security with the necessary equipment thus putting their lives in danger, not carrying PSIRA ID cards and having unidentified security officers in terms of uniform as required by PSIRA legislation. In terms of dealing with the protests at the forefront, this remained the preserve of SAPS while private security was there to safeguard other persons and property – they should be used as a force multiplier and not as the primary source of force to deal with the protests. Unfortunate cases of ill-discipline by private security officers were seen in terms of retaliation and this was unacceptable. PSIRA had liaised with the National Joint Operational Centre (NATJOC) on the issue of university protests and NATJOC principally agreed that private security could not be at the forefront of these protests.

On the involvement of PSIRA in legal cases, Mr Badenhorst outlined that the Authority was defending five cases while it instituted three cases – a short description of these matters could be provided to the Committee. On the uniforms, PSIRA’s research department was busy looking at this area and there was already a concept note thereon. The Authority wanted to bring out regulations to prohibit some problematic uniforms. This would also apply to insignia, logos, lights etc. to ensure there were standards. SAPS and the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) were also the owners of these uniforms, logos and insignia so they were being engaged to assist PSIRA in developing the standards going forward. There was also an increase of camouflage uniforms by security businesses and this was a question of existing standards (like in the SANDF) not being enforced effectively. There was an understanding that camouflage was needed in some security environments like in the anti-rhino poaching missions but there was a problem with camouflage in the urban areas which looked like the militarisation of the PSI which was concerning for PSIRA. It was hoped that some draft regulations could be compiled early in the next calendar year.

Mr Chauke added PSIRA had dealt with the challenge of bad debts although they would always be there because the Authority collected money from the industry that, at times, was not always able to pay, thus giving rise to bad debts. With the building, there was no decision to build a new building as yet and the matter was still with National Treasury which was assisting PSIRA with a feasibility study. The study had already been costed so finding a way forward was what was left to do but there was no new building as yet.

Ms M Mmola (ANC) noted that the overview and key highlights alluded to 26 successful operations with different stakeholders, she wanted to know what operations these were. How long would the term of the Council be extended for? She found the amount of resignations too high and asked what caused them, did PSIRA sit down with these employees to hear what the problem was? What was the nature of the cases of the employees dismissed and their salary band? With the 29 security officers declared not competent or could not submit competency certificates, she wanted to know if these officers could still carry firearms and how PSIRA ensured those individuals were not working with firearms.

Prof Mazibuko said the matters relating to the extension of the current Council were entirely within the office of the Minister. The letter from the Minister said the extension would last until the new Council was appointed and it was hoped this new Council would be selected before the end of 2016. It was proving difficult to set up the two new committees outlined in the new governance framework, for example the finance and investment committee to interrogate finances and budget-related matters. Meetings were planned with the Minister but due to national priorities the Minister had to postpone at times but he had committed to meeting with Council.

In terms of firearm competency, Mr Badenhorst said it was a requirement that officers carry their registration and competency at all times in terms of the law but this was an area of increasing attention for PSIRA. A workshop was held with SAPS and Firearms, Liquor and Second-Hand (FLASH) two weeks ago to ensure better cooperation in terms of firearm control, his perspective was that moving forward there would be a much closer relationship between the Authority and the Designated Firearm Officers (DFOs) and FLASH in terms of firearm control not only for inspections but for accessibility of information on the SAPS databases to assist with firearm control in the security industry.

Mr Chauke explained that there were about 17 resignations in total which made up the 75% reflected in the presentation under terminations. PSIRA was listed as an employer of choice because of the training conducted (as was seen in the expenditure spent on training). People resigned, having been trained and developed over a number of years, and they were being poached from PSIRA with better pay. PSIRA was pleased that the people trained added value to other organisations but as vacant posts were advertised, there were many applications. The Authority was attracting good skills from good organisations which indicated PSIRA was still an employer of choice. In summary, as people were being lost, new employees were gained. The four specific dismissals were for reasons of impropriety such as an employee taking fees inappropriately, tampering with certificates, tampering with the registration process of companies and falsifying information on certificates.

Mr Mavunda (ANC) asked what method of survey was used which did not yield the positive results. How many people with disabilities was part of the intake for training?

Mr Chauke said the survey was to solicit responses from the industry and the method used was to give questionnaires to inspectors to leave with the companies; surveys were often not returned to PSIRA so the method did not work. It was best to engage professionals on the proper surveying methods. PSIRA was not collecting information on the training of people with disabilities but it was aware of many people in the PSI having physical challenges, some of which occurred on duty. Going into the future PSIRA would be collecting those stats

Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) wanted to know the duration of the fixed term contracts and if there was a reason for electing to go the route of a fixed term contract. Mention was made in the presentation of not having irregular expenditure but the comments of the AG made reference to adequate steps not taken to mitigate fruitless expenditure; what effective steps had PSIRA put in place to prevent this taking place again? How would the comments of the AG with regard to leadership be fixed? Were these plans specific or generic? He sought more explanation of the agreement between PSIRA and the AG for setting the scope of the audit. With the targets, he was very pleased to see over-achievement in many indicators by PSIRA but he found the targets of 25% suspicious – why did the Authority not strive for 75% or 100%? During the oversight visit of the Committee to Port Elizbeth, it was clear that there was confusion around the protection of employees for companies in terms of the period for which they were protected in terms of risk; he did not see any such target in the report that concerned the safety and protection of employees of companies including issues relating to provident funds. He suggested this might be considered for a future, new target. Did PSIRA conduct random inspections on security companies - in Cape Town, for example, one would find a number of bouncers in a security company – was this the focus of PSIRA? In the vetting and random checking, was it found that a number of security officers were foreign and not quite registered in terms of having the necessary papers or work papers? He asked this because he saw a number of security officers not very proficient with the local language and this made him question if they had the relevant papers in terms of employment.

Mr Badenhorst explained the target of 25% referred to the area of focus of security officer inspections where PSIRA identified specific focus areas such as the retail sector, education facilities, hospitality sector, residential estates, for example where the target was divided between the focus areas. The intention was to pay particular attention to specific areas for the 2015/16 financial year to conduct inspections and verify compliance. In terms of risk, conditions around the provident fund had changed where from the date of employment there was cover for risk while the retirement benefit only kicked in after six months of employment. PSIRA was focusing particularly on the provident funds for the benefit of those security businesses complying to avoid unfair competition and not complying with labour legislation. Random checks formed part of PSIRA’s inspection process along with actual inspection of security officers on site where interviews were conducted. The large number of foreign security guards was a challenge but it was being dealt with through the renewal of the registration certificate along with links to the register of the Department of Home Affairs to ensure certificates were issued to the correct identity holder. This was an ongoing monitoring and compliance issue.

Mr Chauke explained the fixed contract was for six months and the fixed contract route was taken because PSIRA was not looking to fulfil the positions permanently. If the posts were being filled permanently, the contract would be converted and the post would be advertised as such. The Authority did not have issues with the scope of the AG’s audit. PSIRA had a very robust audit committee and risk analysis unit which worked together with internal audit to develop the scope with the AG. There was general agreement on combined assurance to ensure there was no duplication of work. With the target for the benefit of employees, that was not the mandate of PSIRA, the provident fund was under the Department of Labour. The Authority existed to ensure security companies complied so to have that benefit as a strategically planned and predetermined target/objective was setting performance failure because it was outside the control of PSIRA.

Mr Z Mbhele (DA) sought clarity if the pending investigations were only in terms of SAPS or the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) where the case was pending decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)? Over the course of this week of Annual Report hearings, the Committee had heard of bottlenecks particularly at the NPA and he wanted to get a sense of whether this was also the issue in the PSIRA environment. He was concerned that the core programme of PSIRA, law enforcement, had the highest number of vacancies, what was the challenge with filling vacancies in this programme? Were they currently funded posts? If not, would this be the reason for the vacancies? However, if the posts were funded when could the Committee expect the vacancies to be filled? He also questioned the appearance in a misalignment in the law enforcement programme with it having the highest vacancy rate yet had the biggest staff complement of the PSIRA programmes; if there was funding to fill these posts he urged that they be filled and that the target be raised to ensure better performance especially so in terms of improving compliance by security service providers and officers. With the terminations and resignations, did these involve transfers of staff to other public sector departments or were these people leaving for the private sector or for other reasons? He wanted to get a sense of the dynamics at play in this regard. He was particularly interested in the objective of PSIRA to encourage ownership and control of security businesses by historically disadvantaged persons as well as promoting the development of security services that were responsive to the needs of communities essentially to both create economic opportunity in the PSI for black entrepreneurship and to promote and facilitate the extension of private security services to low-income communities so that it was not simply the preserve of the middle class and the rich.

Mr Badenhorst answered that with the pending criminal cases, these cases were registered by PSIRA and SAPS then provided the entity with feedback once it went to the NPA i.e. the pending cases included those both open with SAPS and the cases SAPS referred to the NPA and were awaiting prosecution. During the beginning of the current financial year, SAPS greatly assisted PSIRA on working on outstanding criminal cases because as the PSIRA monitoring improved, more criminal cases were being opened but through the MOU between PSIRA and SAPS, there was commitment from the police detectives branch to focus on these cases and directives had been issued in that regard. On the vacancies, there were only two current vacancies in the law enforcement programme and this was based on recent resignations. PSIRA was pushing to fill all vacancies especially in the law enforcement environment. Additional inspectors were also being appointed after it was approved so the current complement of inspectors would be increased.

Mr Chauke outlined that the Act said PSIRA should be promoting ownership and access by those previously disadvantaged and the Authority was trying to ensure this was promoted to avail opportunities for registration for competition. In the future, there were plans for a guarantee fund to use some funds to develop smaller companies specifically those previously disadvantaged in nature and to sustain business. This was something to be discussed with the Committee at a later stage. There were opportunities in the industry and training opportunities. PSIRA also provided assistance and in the future, the Authority hoped to evolve into providing more assistance for business development as issues of compliance were phased out. PSIRA research department was looking into making private security more accessible to poorer communities; community-based safety committees were beginning to mushroom and PSIRA was looking to regularise these committees so that they were not abused and that it served its true purpose. This was a way of extending private security to poorer communities and not much of a cost. It was hoped research would assist in moving forward in terms of policy in this area. 

The Chairperson wanted to know what was being done to improve attendance of Council board meetings. With findings made by the audit and risk committee, were there proper decisions taken in terms of the risk management plan? Were these issues discussed at Board level and were they followed up on? Was the idea to still have the audit function outsourced?

Prof Mazibuko answered that four Council members were not fulltime but explanations and apologies were received when they could not attend such as Mr Rathebe would give priority to his work in the office of the Presidency and Adv Mthembu for her work in the court. Council even went through documents and provided feedback where necessary when they could not attend meetings.

On the audit and risk committee/function, Mr Chauke responded that when PSIRA grew, the internal audit function would have to be in-sourced. Part of the challenge with outsourcing the function was that no skills were left behind. Robust discussion on the risk committee and scope of audit was had in the audit committee and the discussion was indeed taken to Council for combined assurance. It was important that there was synergy between the work of the audit and risk committees and that there was no duplication.

Ms Sebogodi added there was a risk management committee chaired by the CEO. The committee was responsible for developing the risk strategy, risk charter and all risk registries. Everything in terms of risk was then adequately covered under the committee which reported to Council.

Ms Molebatsi wanted to know about the human rights practices within the training; were human rights issues included in the training PSIRA offered?

Mr Chauke said the security officer’s code of conduct covered a lot of areas relating to human rights and this was also included in capacity building workshops with security service providers. The code of conduct was clear on how members of the public should be treated, state authorities, customers etc. This was built around the Bill of Rights and Constitution for alignment with what security guards were doing in terms of human rights. PSIRA was strict about obeying these prescripts and security officers which did not obey human rights were prosecuted.

Mr Mbhele wanted to know exactly what the issue was with security officers using personal firearms in their work. On a superficial level, if these officers had the competency and firearm licence, he did not see the fundamental issue with them not being able to use the firearm in part of the deployment. He wanted to further understand the regulation disallowing the use of personal firearms. 

Mr Badenhorst explained PSIRA regulation 13 spoke to the use of firearms and that firearms must be licensed to the business; this was also provided for in the Firearms Control Act. The use of a firearm stemmed from an agreement between the security business and client. Some clients did not want security officers on their premises to be armed so an officer carrying a personal firearm while on duty on that property would contravene the agreement with the client. Ultimately, the issue came down to control and accountability around the legitimate use of firearms.

The Chairperson wanted to know, especially given the new challenging environment with the protests at universities and one being unable to anticipate what would occur in future, what the effect was on the work of PSIRA not having the new regulations and Act in place. If the new Act and regulations were in place, what would PSIRA be able to improve on?

Mr Chauke responded that the new Amendment Act covered areas not covered before in terms of segmenting the industry. So far PSIRA had undertaken research in those areas and a decision was taken to segment the industry. The current regulations were “one size fits all” in nature but the idea was to build policy on specific areas to eventually establish regulatory frameworks suited to those specific areas; work was already being done on this. Other areas in the Amendment Act were also being currently addressed but it would have been easier if the Act was in operation.

The Chairperson asked if PSIRA had the chance to change some regulations in light of Fees Must Fall, if it would do so.

Mr Chauke agreed. PSIRA needed to take the lesson learnt from the challenges the protests presented to work towards building policy directives to address challenges in the future. There were questions around providing training on riot control for security companies or if this was completely outside the domain of private security providers. On the one hand, if the protests did not come to an end, security officer’s lives could be placed at risk if they were deployed without the necessary training. SAPS itself was undergoing transformation on crowd management training which was a further challenge. PSIRA would need to develop something to address the situation in the immediate term and this was being looked into. 

The Chairperson, in closing, noted the overall positive improvement in PSIRA but it was important to make progress in the areas still outstanding but in this regard the Committee would be interacting with the audit committees. If the findings were corrected, PSIRA could be on its way to obtaining a clean audit. The Committee would move to make recommendations on the Annual Report performance of the entity.

The meeting was adjourned. 

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: