The Chairperson made a statement that the Portfolio Committee on Police had taken note of recent incidents in Vuwani, Coligny and Ennerdale, Eldorado Park and Richards Bay, where protests had escalated to violence and had led to damage of municipal infrastructure and residential housing. The Committee called on community members to exercise their constitutional right to protest within the confines of the law and reminded communities that the South African Police Service (SAPS) had a constitutional duty to protect and secure the inhabitants and their property, and to uphold and enforce the law. He asked communities and the police to work together. He called on the National Prosecuting Authority to prioritise any cases of attacks on law enforcement officers.
The Chairperson was also calling the Acting National Police Commissioner and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Executive Director to a meeting to discuss unlawful interference in IPID investigations.
The Private Security Independent Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) presented its Annual Performance Plan. The number of active (employed) individual Security Officers had increased from 488 666 to 498 435 during 2016/17 year so the sector was continuing to grow. PSIRA announced an extension of their work and the creation of several compliance forums and the signing of Memorandum of Understanding to ensure collaboration with a range of stakeholders, including the South African Police Service and the Department of Labour.
Discussion revolved around work opportunities and the protection of security officers as workers. Following the killing of a security guard in Greytown recently, questions were raised about training of guards and compliance of security companies. PSIRA was unable to give details of foreign company shareholding in the sector but intended to start recording this. The delay in the signing of the Amendment Bill which was passed by Parliament in early 2014 was discussed. The Committee requested clarity on the role of private security officers in situations of unrest.
Committee statement: Violent protests and SAPS interference in IPID investigations
The Chairperson made a statement at the commencement of the meeting. He said that the Portfolio Committee on Police had taken note of recent incidents in Vuwani, Coligny and Ennerdale, Eldorado Park and Richards Bay, where protests had escalated to violence and had contributed to the disruption of civic, school and business activities, and had led to damage of municipal infrastructure and housing.
The Committee called on community members to exercise their constitutional right to protest within the confines of the law and refrain from breaking the law and becoming involved in criminal activities.
The Committee also reminded communities that it was the South African Police Service (SAPS) that had a constitutional duty to protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property, and to uphold and enforce the law. The Committee called on communities to work with SAPS to deal with any criminal elements and not to take the law into their own hands. As a country, they could not allow vigilante groups and armed groups to become the first respondents in volatile situations. That was the role of SAPS.
The Committee welcomed efforts by cluster and station commanders to bring together role players to diffuse some of the recent volatile situations.
The Chairperson said that the SAPS leadership had to ensure that the necessary deployments were made and maintained in order to stabilise the various situations. He called for the effective use of the crime intelligence programme as one important way to deal with those challenges.
The Committee believed that attacks on SAPS members had to be dealt with as a matter of urgency and called on the National Prosecuting Authority to prioritise such cases. Any attack on law enforcement officers could not be tolerated. The attack on the officers in Richards Bay, for example, was again an indication that certain elements did not appreciate the basic foundations of security in a constitutional state.
The Committee also called on community leaders and other relevant parties to refrain from making inflammatory statements that could lead to the escalation of conflicts between communities and the state. Rather they should lead by example and be part of the solution to service delivery matters.
If people had suspicions of racist acts, they should immediately report these to the Human Rights Commission for investigation. Also, any allegations of improper conduct by local government officials should be reported to the Public Protector and other relevant constitutional bodies.
The Portfolio Committee on Police had resolved to call the Acting National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane, and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Executive Director, Mr Robert McBride, to a meeting to be held on Tuesday, 16 May 2017. The intention was to provide Committee members with an opportunity to make enquiries about reported acts of interference by some SAPS members in IPID’s work.
The Chairperson explained that Committee members had expressed concern over reports that some SAPS members had meddled in some of IPID’s high-profile investigative work. These reports had been revealed by Mr McBride during the previous week’s committee meeting.
IPID had been established in terms of Section 206(6) of the Constitution to investigate any alleged offence or misconduct by a member of the Service. As such, any unlawful interference in the investigations of IPID could not be tolerated.
In terms of the oversight role of the Committee, it was essential that the Committee is kept abreast of developments in that regard. It also needed assurances from SAPS that there had been no deliberate attempt to undermine the constitutional mandate of IPID.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) agreed with the Chairperson’s statement and shared the concerns about the interference in the investigation and that the Committee needed to look into the allegations.
Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) agreed with the sentiments as they needed both sides of the story and needed to get to the bottom of the allegations regarding senior police officers.
The Chairperson invited the Private Security Independent Regulatory Authority to make a presentation.
Private Security Independent Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) briefing
Ms Zanele Mthembu, PSIRA Senior Manager: Parliamentary and Stakeholder Liaison, introduced the PSIRA Director and CEO.
PSIRA Director and CEO, Mr Manabela Chauke, presented the strategic goals and noted that there had been no change in that regard and that the Council continued to discharge its oversight mandate in six provinces. He noted that the post of Deputy Director had been filled and they were awaiting the results of vetting by SAPS. More than 1 900 business registrations had been withdrawn for various contraventions and amendment of Code of Conduct regulations. More capacity building workshops had been conducted so that the Council could improve compliance and establish minimum entry qualifications. The number of active (employed) individual Security Officers had increased from 488 666 to 498 435 during 2016/17.
Ms Mmatlou Sebogodi, Deputy Director, presented details of Programme 1: Administration dealing with Finance and Administration, Human Capital, and Business Information Technology. As the IT system was inadequate for PSIRA’s needs, the system was being enlarged and upgraded.
Mr Stefan Badenhorst, Acting Deputy Director, presented Programme 2: Law Enforcement. They worked closely with the South African Police Service (SAPS). They inspected firearms licences where they work and reported to SAPS. They intend to apply for the introduction of new regulations to manage the private security industry.
Programme 3: Communications, Registration and Training, was presented by Ms Mpho Mofikoe, Deputy Director. She said PSIRA was promoting the security sector as a career of choice.
Ms Sebogodi concluded by presenting the Budget. Since PSIRA was a service industry, personnel costs were the highest single expenditure but the Council had put cost containment measures in place. A greater brand awareness and understanding of PSIRA would facilitate revenue collection.
Ms Molebatsi asked what happened in the event a security guard was killed in the line of duty. The number of security companies belonging to PSIRA had increased, had the number of investigators increased? Had they acquired offices in Bloemfontein? Did inspectors still use private vehicles to do inspections and did they receive a vehicle allowance?
Mr Mbele spoke of the killing of security officers on duty, such as in Greytown in Northern KwaZulu-Natal where a security officer was shot dead near an ATM. Did PSIRA conduct investigations on non-compliance matters that might have increased the vulnerability of an officer or officers? PSIRA had spoken of an additional 10,000 security guards being employed in the past year. Were there any significant trends in the growth figures such as geographical? Gauteng had 40% of the total number of security guards in the previous year. Was there an expansion in localised areas? Were there any demographic changes, for example, were security guards coming into the sector younger? Private security was mentioned only briefly in relation to crime prevention and crime reduction in the White Paper on Safety and Security. Had PSIRA been given an opportunity to give input into the White Paper? It would be an oversight on the part of the Secretariat if the private security dimension had not been included in that picture.
Mr M Geldenhuys (DA) commended PSIRA for improving regulations that resulted in improved prosecution and convictions plus obtaining the SAQA certificate. He hoped that they would receive their registration the following day. Towards the end of 2015, he had raised concern about the role of private security in crowd control measures. What research had they undertaken? On the vetting of the Law Enforcement Deputy Director, who was doing the vetting and how long had it been outstanding? He assumed that it was Crime Intelligence. What was the engagement with Presidency around signing the PSIRA Amendment Bill? That was clearly the reason for the delay in the Bill. Which parts of the Bill were problematic? When was the meeting held and what was PSIRA’s input? He understood that they were awaiting a response, but what was their sense about the future of the Bill [passed by Parliament in 2014]?
Ms M Mmola (DA) asked PSIRA to explain the decreased value of the assets such as office equipment. Were all vacant posts filled, and if not, when would they be filled? Had the Memorandum of Understanding with SAPS been finalised? Could they indicate if any progress had been made about their footprint countrywide, especially in Free State, North West and Northern Cape.
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) commended PSIRA on their progress. In Programme 2 he noted that the plans had targets but the targets had been written in strange way so the Committee would not know what they had achieved. If they wanted to increase the target by 1%, what were they increasing by 1% if there was no baseline for the target? 90% of what? There was an interchangeability of numbers and percentages. If they gave figures, the Committee could measure, but the variation between number and % made measurability unattainable. Why had the criminal case target of 93% not decreased? Why not use the baseline of the previous year and use that to indicate numbers for the current year’s target? Once they had numbers, they could use percentages. Regarding administration, PSIRA was a self-funding body but revenue recovery was less than 100%. Was that linked to capacity or what?
PSIRA was going to reduce administration and finance costs, but how to reconcile with a plan that said they would not employ more provincial staff and cut down on Subsistence and Travel (S and T) and an intention to expand the footprint? How could you cut down on the expense of travelling when you were not indicating an expansion of provincial staff? How would they get people to work in other provinces when they had cut down on S and T? Mr Ramatlakane asked about the capacity of security personnel in respect of reports and so on. When the Committee had been on an oversight visit, they had seen a number of shortcomings in respect of reporting and writing reports. He really wanted to understand their methods of planning in writing up their targets.
Mr P Mhlongo (ANC) heard PSIRA talk of the finalisation of two policies. What were those policies? Secondly, as a self-sustaining organisation, how much involvement of local people, especially as applicants, was there if there was so much flying across the country? Looking at the critical services that they rendered, he did not think it wise to open up to foreign bodies in the area of security.
The Chairperson noted the decrease in tariff income. He wanted to know whether the difference in tariffs as per the new tariff structure, would be problematic to PSIRA as a going concern. What was the exact situation? The regulations were welcomed but he was concerned that the regulations were based on indicators in the 2001 Act. Should the regulations go ahead considering that indicators would have changed in the intervening years? On the increase in membership, he wondered what was the analysis of the sector? How many big firms were foreign-owned? What was the percentage?
Mr Chauke responded by addressing the matter of the guard killed on duty. When a guard was killed on duty an investigation was conducted on the side of SAPS and PSIRA investigators conducted an assessment to determine whether was negligence on the side of the employer. In the Greytown case, there were no allegations of negligence on the side of the employer or the guard himself. There was, however, no compulsory reporting of fatalities at work to PSIRA. In the new Bill, reporting became compulsory. Currently PSIRA only picked it up in the media.
The office in Bloemfontein had been through several rounds of the tender process. The first round resulted in no tenders, the second time, the award had been completed internally and then it was discovered that the person was not tax compliant. By the time the person had fixed the tax issues, he informed them that he was disposing of the business. Due to the challenges, the third time they had revised the tender and broken the tender down from a request for 1,000 sqm into two spaces of 500 sqm as that should elicit a better response. Bloemfontein had been intended to cater for both the Free State and the Northern Cape but they would take premises in Kuruman where there was a lot of activity, especially in the mining areas, and which would serve the Northern Cape. They were issuing another tender.
Inspectors used their own cars but received a car allowance that was reviewed regularly. The subsistence and travel allowance would be revised in accordance with National Treasury regulations.
Mr Badenhorst replied that 5 705 injuries had been reported and there had been 14 fatalities in the past year. It was not compulsory to report injuries and fatalities to PSIRA but they were looking at an amendment to deal with it. PSIRA wanted to be copied into reports to Crime Intelligence. The SAPS National Commissioner had agreed that it would be good for PSIRA to collate and report on that matter. There could also be a comparison against SAPS data. They also obtained information from the Private Security Sector Provident fund on death and disability claims, but that figure included off-duty death or disability.
Ms Molebatsi noted that with SAPS, the family was paid out if an officer died on duty. Was that the case with security guards?
Mr Badenhorst informed her that the provident fund was statutory and compulsory and provided death and disability cover as per labour legislation. PSIRA had one inspector for 120 businesses. They had 68 inspectors nationally but the number would increase by five in the current year and five the following year. They continually monitor the ratio of inspectors. When PSIRA learnt about injuries, they conducted investigations into the business and compliance, and if the guard was not trained, they took action against the business in terms of their code of conduct. The security industry was not supposed to be involved in crowd control and crowd management. That was the function of SAPS. They had liaised with industry and SAPS, especially the Head of Public Order Policing, and had developed a draft injunction together with SAPS to provide guidance on the role of security and that of SAPS during protests, especially in riot control. SAPS would also develop guidance on their interaction with security officers and their expectations once they were at the scene. Security officers could not be ignored as they had contractual obligations. Guards protected property and businesses but did not actively deal with and disperse crowds. That was not their job.
The Director, Mr Chauke reported that the industry profile showed quite a shift in the generations, with personnel getting younger and younger as older people were shifting out. There was definitely an increase in younger security personnel but they had not done research as yet and therefore they did not have precise numbers. As for input into the White Paper on Safety and Security, they had made extensive inputs but they did not know whether the inputs had been taken on board.
The date for the SAQA certificate indicated in the presentation was the date of the notification, not the date of finalisation.
Vetting and security clearance were two different processes in PSIRA. Vetting was internal and dealt with the CV, competency assessment and reference checks. The security clearance was undertaken by the South African State Security Agency.
The meeting at the Presidency on the Amendment Bill was as the result of objections by certain interested bodies within the industry. They had talked about differing areas of concerns and how they justified their position and provided legal clarity, but he could not say more.
There were no vacant posts. All posts were filled but a process was being undergone to look into capacity as there was constantly a change in personnel, partially due to poaching of trained staff by other organisations, and also because of shifting needs. They had not been strong in the area of training. Now they needed to fill capacity in areas of training to strengthen this aspect of PSIRA. These posts may be added as national positions.
Ms Sebogodi explained that office furniture was a fixed cost and cost reduction or depreciation was recorded in the budget as the furniture decreased in value and there was not a constant purchase of furniture. PSIRA was a self-funded organisation. However, due to various factors, that precise amount might not be recovered and so would not be available for expenditure. Although the budget showed a less than 100% recovery rate, that was because they allowed for contingencies. They bill clients as prescribed but then budget for receiving less than the full amount they were expecting as companies dropped out, or registered as a company to get security clearance for a tender but disbanded if they did not get the tender. In terms of National Treasury guidelines, they had a 10% reduction from recovery of monies owed to the figure shown in the budget. That allowed for unrecoverable debts. People default everywhere.
Targeting was based on the previous year’s targets. They used the previous years’ percentage or figures. As far as using the percentage versus numbers was concerned, the reality was that in some cases they did not have the precise numbers in advance. If they said there would be a specific percentage increase, it was based on the percentage increase from the previous year. PSIRA had no problem about remaining a going concern. The average annual increase across the board was 6%.
Success in prosecution would probably improve as a result of the MOU with SAPS. The Security Regulations were based on the 2001 Act. The coming amendment did not fundamentally change anything but the current regulations were quite outdated. Also, most of the current regulations were generic and they needed specific regulations for specific areas of operations. They were researching specific aspects of the industry and by the time the Amendment Bill was promulgated, they would be ready to develop regulations about those specific areas. The regulations were not entirely dependent on the processing of the Amendment Bill as they were updating existing regulations. Those areas covered by the Amendment Bill (and not the Act) could not be done at the time.
Mr Ramatlakane made a follow-up on the input on the collection of funds. Their source of income came from registration and fines they had imposed. Why were they planning to get less than they were entitled to? Was it the rand-dollar exchange or did they give away free registration. He was not convinced with the answer as to why they did not collect 100% of monies owed. Did they not have the capacity to collect? Who would be so lucky as to not be required to pay? If the spreadsheet did not contain details of all dues, how would they ever collect those dues in the future? Some people would escape payment repeatedly. Could someone not help them to collect the fees owing?
Ms Mmola asked about the Memorandum of Understanding with SAPS. What were the contents? Had it been signed?
The Director tried to re-address the question on fees collection explaining it as the difference between billing and budgeting. They bill what they had budgeted for. He confirmed that National Treasury allowed entities to make a variance for bad debt. What was the likelihood of collecting all monies owed? Not budgeting for 100% collection of monies did not mean that they did not attempt to collect 100% of the monies owed. If they did not take bad debt into account when budgeting, they would not be able to meet budget targets. They were not budgeting not to attempt to collect all monies owing, they were just not using the total amount that they expected to collect as a basis for the budget.
Mr Ramatlakane noted that the plan referred to 80% of collection of debt. That meant that they were not planning to collect 20%. Bad debt did not come into the issue of what they were planning to collect. If they planned to collect 80%, there would still be bad debt and they would probably end up with only 60%. Why did they plan to collect only 80% when they were dependent on what they collect? Maybe they could re-think the fact that they were planning to collect less than 100%.
The Director noted that planning was taking into account the fact that one could not ever collect 100%. He understood the question but the environment did not allow them to report 100%. It was a question of whether they were planning to collect 80%.
The Director stated that perhaps they had a difference in explaining themselves.
Mr Badenhorst replied that the Memorandum of Understanding had been signed in April 2016 and made for a Representative Consultative Forum between PSIRA and the relevant units of SAPS. The Forum had met a few times and a workshop was held in October 2016. There was very good cooperation at officer level at which the Forum is coordinated, although at lower levels, there was room for improvement in the cooperation. They had another meeting the first quarter of the current year to develop a plan for the way forward. The Forum was definitely going in the right direction.
The targets for the law enforcement programme could not be numerical as, for example, they did not know in advance the number of prosecutions that they would initiate. They did not know how many businesses would transgress. The technical indicator descriptions tried to explain that point. Of the cases carried over for prosecution, a certain percentage of the then-known figure, was required to be finalised. The percentage finalised was a target but they would only know how many cases they needed to finalise when they knew of how many cases had been received. They had prosecutors in each regional office, which was not the case previously so they had built capacity. To improve efficiencies, they would serve the charge sheet and summons at the same time to speed up cases. Currently they could not say what the numeric figure would be but that actual figure and the percentage would appear in the final report and how they got to the figures and percentages. They wanted to see 90% of the cases prosecuted.
Ms Mofikoe replied that there were 102 000 females registered in the private security industry. She was pleased to note that of the10 000 increase in personnel, 6 000 were female officers. She also noted that Limpopo was emerging as a hub of security. It was up to number four after the Western Cape so Limpopo was embracing the private security industry from an employment point of view. Policies to be undertaken included the Transformation Charter but that had to be followed by a clear regulatory framework. Secondly, they were looking at segmentation of the industry. The 2001 Act had taken a blanket approach with blanket registrations. The new regulations would register people as per occupation within the security industry.
The Director stated that there was local interest in the private security industry – big interest. PSIRA did not collect shareholder information so they could not say who owned each company, so they were unable to comment on an increase in foreign-owned security companies. They would start collecting the data. There had been changes to the “Big 5” in security. Fidelity Group had bought out almost the entire ownership of ADT. There was constant change between local and international security companies but they would find a way to get the information.
Mr Badenhorst commented on the verification of inspection. All reports were verified by senior inspectors. In January 2017, they had appointed a Manager of the Compliance section who would also verify reports. They had a system of peer verification where an inspector had to report on the findings of the previous inspector. Inspectors were rotated on an annual basis. Inspectors were rotated on an annual basis so that they could be changed to another area annually in order to prevent collusion.
Mr Geldenhuys stated that he often heard allegations of private security guards conducting raids on property and harassing people. What avenues were open to the public to report unacceptable behaviour beyond the mandate of security guards?
Mr Ramatlakane remained concerned about the unknown number of prosectutions. If PSIRA wanted to achieve 77%, would it be 77% of 100%. What was the problem with writing 100%?
Ms Mofikoe reported that they had established a complaints office in all of their offices. All security agencies could lodge a complaint and the National Consumer Office was advising on how to help to direct complaints to PSIRA offices because some complaints were beyond its mandate. A draft policy had been drawn up which would see the setting up of complaint offices for public to complain or use electronic media to complain.
Mr Badenhorst reassured Mr Ramatlakane that the measurement was out of 100% but they did not know how many cases they would have. Furthermore, it was not possible for cases to be resolved within a financial year as anything brought for prosecution in the last month of the financial year, would not be finalised in the same financial year but would have to be carried over for a month or two as notices had to be issues. Where complaints were received at the very end of the financial year, they were recorded but could not be finalised until the next financial year.
The Director informed the Committee that they had opened applications in the local areas, and the Free State and Northern Cape tenders for buildings were being separated. They would also be going around to North West and Polokwane. They have also looked at Mpumalanga. He wanted to caution that they had to work in awareness of the plans for online registration and other electronic methods of business. They might not be able to sustain all offices but they would see how far they could go with electronic methods of conducting business.
The Chairperson commented that an indication for oversight activity could be measured in terms of stakeholder engagements. He asked the board chairman what was that and the nature of such engagement? What about the panel of experts that they had planned to appoint? What were the outcomes that they envisaged?
Ms Molebatsi asked about the training of inspectors for combatting crime. How many inspectors were attached to the law enforcement programme. What was the vacancy rate? Had they established the compliance forums? What was the composition and the successes.
Mr Mbhele asked a question on targets for revenue collection. The Director had mentioned the previous year that they had been looking at an alternative to the revenue-based one. Had that been looked into and researched and what were the findings? At the Annual Report hearings, they had heard about poaching of trained staff by other departments and entities. Was there a personnel retention policy in place to stem the flow and mitigate the risk?
Ms Mmola noted that lease payments had increased. Were they not planning to buy their own offices? What was the Other Income indicated in the budget?
Mr Ramatlakane had a question about the oversight visit in Port Elizabeth. There were many challenges on compliance factors etc. The Director was part of the delegation. Could they say that in the Annual Performance Plan going forward some of their oversight of compliance was going to be put on security businesses?
The Chairperson noted that 1 900 security businesses had terminated registration. Were they sure that those businesses were not operating under the radar? How did they monitor that? There had been a huge increase in fines, some of more than R1 million for certain offences and misconduct. Had these fines been implemented?
Prof Fikile Mazibuko, PSIRA Council chairperson, explained that what Council had done was to produce a concept document to set up a panel of 14 experts with different knowledge bases from academic and other institutions. They had advertised, setting out clear criteria for the experts who had to be knowledgeable on policy, security and government. The Council would be working out terms of reference and would be hearing inputs from role players. Council also wanted to see transformation in the Charter and would need to have hearings, plus it had to conform with the Act. The person they would be working directly with was the Director and Head of Research.
The Chairperson asked whether 14 was too big for the panel. He wanted to know the cost implications.
The Director explained that they had divided the research into 14 focus areas with two sectors per group so they could cover a large area. The cost was R3 million over the term and they were paying R120 000 per expert over the term, which included all work to be done. A list of names would be given to the Chairperson.
Mr Humphrey Nhlanhla Ngubane, PSIRA Council deputy chairperson, said that the Council had an excellent and active Stakeholder Board to look at matters of stakeholder management and core business. They have scheduled meetings that will include management and board members and stakeholders, such as consumers, owners of businesses and others who work in the business. They had already had a workshop in the Western Cape, attended mostly by government and had given them a good insight into government plans and had raised the issue of funds for security. They also raised the issue of outsourcing by government. They did not impose their views on government but they had explained registration and compliance for a private security company. They discussed what the law prescribed around registration. It became clear that meetings were very necessary to clarify the requirements of private security for consumers such as those from FET Colleges and the universities. They would continue with such engagements throughout the year. Records would be kept.
Mr Badenhorst stated that inspectors had not been trained on cybercrime. They would look at it and speak to State Security who gave workshops on cybercrime. They would have to come back to the Committee on the matter. As far as inspector vacancies were concerned, there were only two senior inspector vacancies at head office following a promotion to Head of Compliance and one who had been placed on temporary disability. In addition, they had a third vacancy in the Eastern Cape owing to a recent resignation. The position had been advertised. Full positions would be filled as well as the positions of the five new inspectors that they planned to fill in the second quarter of the year.
The Compliance Forums consist mostly of SAPS, PSIRA members, lawyers representing the unions, Home Affairs, Chambers of Business, and SARS. The terms of reference were wide as to who was permitted to attend. There was no individual participation. Only representatives of a relevant body could serve on the Compliance Forum. They had been successful but they had not had consistent attendance in some provinces. Management had now made attendance part of the inspectors’ contracts. Attendance of crucial members was a challenge.
Ms Sebogodi explained that they had studied other revenue models outside of South Africa last year. The turn-over billing model was a better model but PSIRA had to consult stakeholders and put systems into place before they could move to such a model. Audited financial statements were required. Stakeholders were always able to provide audited books and so the first step was to get audited statements, otherwise the system would not be credible. They were looking at the possibility of charging every three years to allow for training. When internal controls were in place, they could change systems. PSIRA was aware of the cost of renting and they would look at some purchases. However, not every office would be purchased as they would assess the location. They had undertaken a cost benefit analysis of head office which showed that they could pay off a building in five years so they would do that. They would not be buying all buildings as they wanted to allow for movement over time. “Other Income” in the budget referred to a long list of items, including withdrawal of business, suspension of business, uplifting of suspension, name change of individuals, and name change of companies.
The Director confirmed that they had a retention policy and strategy in place and it was being implemented. They constantly reviewed the profiles of employees and looked at rewards and training as well as conditions of employment and career plans for individuals.
The amended fines were implemented on 9 June 2016. A number of companies had been fined. The highest fine was to be R500 000 but the fine issued was R250 000 with certain conditions. There were issues relating to firearms.
An analysis of companies that had withdrawn showed that 1 891 were businesses that had not paid annual fees. They were mostly inactive businesses to whom PSIRA had written, then suspended and finally withdrawn. The list of withdrawals was circulated to inspectors and placed on their website. Many security providers would immediately report an unregistered business they came across. It was a highly competitive area of business and so firms checked on other firms to see if they were registered. Security businesses were obliged to pay above minimum wages. The Department of Labour was of the opinion that conditions should be equal to police conditions. PSIRA ensured that businesses pay minimum wages. The lowest paid were mostly in the guarding sector. 82% of prosecutions dealt with the exploitation of guards. Prosecution of exploitation and other such issues was the way to deal with it. Incremental fines did help to stop the practice. Presiding officers were independent people but PSIRA would meet with them to explain the purpose of prosecution as a preventive measure. There was a new panel of presiding officers but they did not always impose the necessary sanctions. Prosecution was designed to enforce compliance. PSIRA was working on awareness of the working conditions. They were writing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Labour and this would include exploitation of labour but also other aspects such as UIF and injuries on duty. PSIRA had developed a guideline for costing and also for users of security services so that entrepreneurs would know that they could afford the cost of running a security business. It was a well-used document and government frequently used it to ensure that the firm could meet their obligations and was not under-tendering and then could not afford to do the required work. National Treasury was developing a Practice Note to deal with pricing as government tenderers take the lowest prices when looking for security guards, and that was not always the best company. They were also looking at working hours, overtime pay, vacation leave and bonuses when they inspected companies.
A list of members of the Expert Panel was handed over.
The Chairperson asked about uniforms of security companies. One uniform looked like the air force uniform. Clarity of uniforms was essential to prevent the blurring of lines with SAPS. Was there any corruption in security companies? Could they provide details?
Ms Molebatsi asked if they had a way of dealing with companies that registered guards below their grade level to save money.
Mr Geldenhuys returned to access control asking if PSIRA had engaged with or researched the security companies in Pretoria East that cordon off streets by placing guards there and curtailing entry based on racial profiling.
Mr Geldenhuys spoke of the need to include uniforms of Metro Police in the forbidden uniforms. Some companies said that Metro Police had stolen their uniform. In Polokwane, SAPS and Metro police uniforms were basically identical.
Mr Badenhorst replied that companies were aware that a uniform should not intend to deceive. He agrees that they needed a research paper on uniforms as the biggest issue was that they did not know who was wearing what. New regulations would force companies to forward video of uniforms and badges annually. They were drawing up a standard to show what was acceptable and what was not, including camouflage uniform. They had seen insignia that looked like a SAPS “stal” but had a lion roaring in the centre. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SAPS had addressed that issue and SAPS had sent out a directive that all security uniforms within each jurisdiction had to be checked. Security guards were using flashing lights but only a clear white light and the word” security” was allowed. PSIRA had a good relationship with IPID which was a member of the Consultative Forum and was included in the SAPS MOU.
On the payment of security officers, Mr Badenhorst pointed out that there was frequently a misunderstanding between grading and entitlements that did not relate to payment. Security personnel were trained in Grades A to E. However, the job description would indicate the level on which they worked and they were paid according to the level or Grade functions that they performed. Training was based on labour legislation. A security officer might be qualified at Grade C but could work on Grade E work. They would pay according to the functional level, i.e. Grade E. A patrolling officer is paid at Grade D but might have higher qualifications. They were trying to lift patrolling to Grade C as that was the most frequent level of work. Security companies frequently tendered indicating Grade B officers and charging for that but the Grade B guards do Grade D work and are paid accordingly.
Mr Ramatlakane noted that the Metro Police uniform would be gazetted and then no one else could use that uniform. How would they manage the debate on those whose uniforms might be taken out of the equation? Member of public had asked about gated communities where they were required to produce their identification documents and then have a facial picture taken. What did the company do with all those pictures of people? Was the retention of that data regulated? The management of a personal image was a security issue.
The Director indicated that there was a code of conduct with regard to how guards dealt with members of the public. Members of the public could write to PSIRA if they had a concern. The protection of information at gated communities was addressed in the Protection of Personal Information Act that was promulgated in December 2016 . It gave protection to the public by stating that guards had the right to collect the information but they could only keep it up until they had no further use for it. This meant that after a person had left the community, they had to delete the information. They had no right to distribute or store information. People could also complain to the Regulator.
Mr Mbhele asked about the right of a security guard to search a person where the person did not agree to the search.
Mr Badenhorst explained that it had to be done in accordance with the law such as women could only be searched by women. If access to a building was restricted, you could refuse the search but then you could not access the building.
Mr Geldenhuys agreed that the municipality had the right to approve limited access and have security to secure an area, but stated that no one had the right to stop him going down a public road. Someone needed to look into this, perhaps the Committee. He had heard of a number of abuses in Pretoria.
The Director agreed with Mr Geldenhuys and they could bring the matter to PSIRA and they would look into whether the cordoning off was legitimate. The Control of Access Act of 1995 indicated exactly what security officers could require in terms of enquiring from and searching people, for example, name and address.
Mr Geldenhuys agreed with the Director but did not think that the Act applied to his entering a street.
The Deputy Chairman of the Board informed the Committee that the Annual Security Compliance Indaba had been planned. That was where stakeholders and the public could debate issues around security.
The Committee would study the input and the responses and finalise its report shortly.
Meeting was adjourned.