Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority 2018/19 Annual Report

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11 October 2019
Chairperson: Ms J Mofokeng (ANC) (Acting)
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Meeting Summary

Annual Reports 2018/2019

The briefing on the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) 2018/19 Annual Report provided performance information, a governance and financial report including the commitment to improve internal control. The numbers of registered as well as active security officers and security businesses in each province  were provided. PSIRA reported received a clean audit opinion, achieved 85% of its planned targets and had improved its revenue management.

Members were pleased that PSIRA received a clean audit and requested that this be maintained. Members asked about accreditation training abuses, the implementation of a guarantee fund, special training for security officers at schools, training of car guards, arrested effected by PSIRA inspectors, corporate social responsibility, if PSIRA can play a role in training community patrols and community policing forums, employment of foreign nationals as security officers, and if PSIRA checks if the security companies have life insurance for employees.

Meeting report

Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) on its 2018/19 Annual Report
Mr Manabela (Sam) Chauke, PSIRA CEO, provided an overview of the industry and key highlights. It touched on the performance information report, the governance report, financial information, commitments to improve internal control. He gave a geographical overview of the numbers of registered security officers and security businesses in each province and most were situated in the Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal. A percentage breakdown of the number of active security officers and security businesses was provided. Turning to the key highlights of the operational overview; he stated that in 2018/19 PSIRA:
• received a clean audit opinion,
• achieved 85% of the planned targets,
• 37 569 security officers were inspected and 6 253 security business inspections were conducted,
• 377 arrests were made out of 53 PSIRA operations,
• 1 498 firearm inspections were conducted,
• 1 458 improper conduct prosecutions were finalised,
• fines to the value of R32 million were imposed for improper conduct convictions,
• 107 105 security officers were registered,
• 1 616 security businesses were registered,
• 440 781 training course reports were captured,
• 283 467 renewal certificates for security officers and 5 077 for security businesses were issued,
• 5.45% increase in number of females registered and 2.48% increase in number of females employed,
• 160 public awareness campaigns were held,
• two new offices were launched in Bloemfontein and Mbombela.

Adv Linda Mbana, PSIRA Deputy Director: Law Enforcement, said there was an increase in the number of compliance inspections conducted, from 40 692 in 2017/18 to 44 402 in 2018/9. There was a decrease in the number of companies inspected from 2 514 in 2017/18 to 2 252 in 2018/19. She explained that this reduction happened because security businesses were aware of the rigorous regulations imposed by law enforcement. There was an increase in the number of cases opened by PSIRA, and many of the case had been finalised. Lastly, there was a decrease in the number of prosecutions.

Mr Chauke highlighted the increase in number of female officers registered and number of female security officers employed. The number of training providers had increased by 122 from 2017/18. Research papers and documents had been produced, specifically in the areas of labour broking, car guarding, use of security equipment, private security in school, and private security at institutions of higher learning.

Ms Mmatlou Sebogodi, PSIRA Deputy Director: Finance Administration, stated that PSIRA had received a clean audit. However, there had been a matter of emphasis on material impairments to do with revenue management. There was a deficit in 2017/18. A going concern turnaround strategy was implemented which resulted in an increase in total revenue in 2018/19 and a surplus of R3 million.

Ms P Faku (ANC) was happy that PSIRA received a clean audit. She was impressed with the report and PSIRA’s overall performance and the way the CFO presented the strategies for increasing revenue. She was impressed with PSIRA’s 52 day average turnaround time for improper conduct prosecution. She noted the 160 public awareness campaigns and asked what was the target. She agreed with need for the PSIRA Levies Act to be implemented.

Mr Chauke replied that the target for public awareness campaigns was 140 and 160 was reached.

Mr O Terblanche (DA) extended his congratulations for a clean audit. He noted the establishment of the training academy was not achieved and asked for the time frame or target date for that. He was happy to know that PSIRA was effectively doing compliance visits. He asked if PSIRA was strict enough to ensure that minimum requirements are met when people receive permission to open security businesses. Should we not increase compliance before an individual is given permission to open a business?

Adv Mbana replied that the compliance visits that PSIRA conducts were working well. PSIRA double checks which companies are new in the industry and those companies are inspected when they get registered before they get to the market. There are requirements that must be met. PSIRA assists from the registration stage to ensure that all the requirements are met. As soon as the companies start operating, law enforcement goes to ensure that there is compliance, and to ensure that all the regulations, prescripts and legislation are complied with.

Mr Terblanche wanted an indication on the types of contraventions or crimes that security officers have committed to warrant arrest - what training do the PSIRA inspectors who effect the arrests have? He was asking this in relation to the Criminal Procedure Act as well as the human rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

Adv Mbana replied that many of the PSIRA inspectors come from SAPS originally and PSIRA ensures that those who do not come from SAPS undergo all the necessary training. When PSIRA goes for inspections knowing that arrests will be made, they ensure that SAPS is available with vehicles for transportation. When law enforcement is made aware of companies that are trading but are not registered, criminal cases are opened with SAPS. The same is done for individuals who are operating without being registered with PSIRA. The PSIRA Act indicates the contraventions.

Mr Terblanche noted that there was an over-presence of car guards and asked if this was properly controlled – are these people outside the system? He asked if there is relevant training for car guards?

Mr Chauke replied that PSIRA was not happy at all with the kind of regulation of car guards and that this was the reason research was conducted, to understand the nature of the environment. There was a lot of exploitation taking place in that environment and the data that was produced from the research assisted PSIRA in improving regulation. PSIRA would produce a review of regulations in the nearer future to strengthen regulations targeted specifically at car guards. PSIRA would engage a lot of stakeholders, particularly mall property management. The training required by car guards is the Guarding Training (guarding and patrolling) and he acknowledged that this training could be improved. There were not enough inspectors to evaluate if foreign nationals were employed. PSIRA had found itself arresting ordinary people, some of whom were not aware that it is illegal to practise as a security officer when they are not registered. PSIRA changed its strategy of targeting individuals and rather engaged with mall property management, who had deployed unregistered individuals. PSIRA had recognised that in some areas, there had been positive results in the deployment of car guards. Regulations would soon be strictly reviewed.

Mr Terblanche asked if people are trained to do security work at schools and with what standard they need to comply. He noted that it was important to receive some indication on the appointment of the new PSIRA council. He was not sure if that could be achieved, given the absence of the Ministry.

Mr Chauke replied that the Minister had approved the advert for the appointment of the new Council and that it would be released the following week.

Mr Terblanche said that PSIRA had indicated a recovery from their debt, and he wanted clarity on the improvement. He asked if it is realistic to implement the guarantee fund based on the Levies Act.

Mr Chauke replied that PSIRA commissioned a firm of actuaries to assist in putting together a concept document on a guarantee fund. PSIRA had received a briefing on the progress of the concept document. The procedure was complicated and that there were many choices and alternatives that needed to be considered. PSIRA would look at the best possible model to implement the guarantee fund. The guarantee fund could be established by PSIRA or they could partner with already existing assurance providers. The Act stipulates that a guarantee fund must be provided, and so PSIRA would ensure that it would be implemented.

Mr Terblanche asked who was dealing with the learning material at the academy and if they were happy with it – what is the position?

Mr Chauke replied that PSIRA was not far away with the process and that there were technical reasons why they did not achieve the establishment of the academy. The learning material was not presented with that application, and so the application was rejected. The process to establish PSIRA’s own academy was underway. In addition, the process took long because PSIRA wanted the training to have an NQF level attached to it.

Mr Terblanche asked how many small security companies were in operation.

Mr Chauke replied that there are about 10 074 active small businesses in the sector that make up between 72% and 75% of the business. These businesses were responsible for funding PSIRA’s co-regulation. The big companies were few. The small companies are the ones that contribute to the funding and are PSIRA’s main revenue.

Mr Terblanche asked if some of the security officers in the industry are reservists in the police – is that not something we should pursue?

Mr Chauke replied that PSIRA did not have data on security officers that were reservists. However, he provided the legal position that if there were reservists that were part of the security industry, they would have to be declared to PSIRA. In terms of the PSIRA Act, ex-police officials, ex-army, ex-intelligence officers ought to present a certificate of clearance from their previous jobs, when they register with PSIRA.

Ms A Molekwa (ANC) congratulated PSIRA on the clean audit and hoped that the standards would be upheld. She had expected the report to include an audit action plan to address the findings on the significant uncertainties, along with measures to monitor the implementation of the action plan.

Ms Sebogodi replied that PSIRA had put in place three measures in terms of their audit opinion, which had two emphases of matter: The first matter was about material impairment which detailed what would be done to ensure that PSIRA remains in line. The second matter pertained to the contingent liability for ongoing court cases, which was detailed in terms of the action plan. PSIRA had not received any material findings, they had received an administrative finding and had developed an action plan that was monitored by its oversight structures. Those administrative findings were raised in the interim financial statement, the interim audit report and not the final one. However, PSIRA had developed an action plan that is reported to all its oversight structures.

Ms Molekwa noted the current economic position of the country; that we are in a recession. There are small security companies struggling to receive contracts and asked what measures were in place to ensure that the situation is addressed to ensure that PSIRA collected revenue.

Mr Chauke replied that every year PSIRA had consistently come up with measures to ensure that small companies were assisted. The law provides that if a small company cannot afford to pay PSIRA, it should request to enter into an agreement with PSIRA to compile a payment method. If that company has employed zero to a certain number of people, PSIRA would provide it with six months to pay its annual fees and other companies have up to 12 months, but the bigger companies are required to pay once-off. Therefore, the minimum that these small companies would be paying per annum would be R6 000 and if broken down, they would be about R600 per month over 12 months if they do not have active guards with an active number of people employed.

Ms Molekwa said that she was aware that there were still challenges with the accreditation process and asked what measures are in place to ensure that the accreditation process is efficient.

Mr H Shembeni (EFF) congratulated PSIRA on the clean audit. He noted the problem that some security officers are enlisted under other people’s accreditation and asked PSIRA to address this. He asked what security courses draw the most interest, if any.

Ms J Mofokeng (ANC), the Acting Chairperson, congratulated PSIRA on the clean audit. She asked if there was accreditation for industry training. She asked what other training courses there were that would interest the training companies. She acknowledged that security officers are exploited, and said it is a matter that should be reviewed.

Mr Chauke replied that it was unclear if the question about abuses in the accreditation process was about individuals or training providers. PSIRA accredited both. PSIRA accredited training providers to provide training and the requirements were that the service providers would have to show that they had infrastructure, such as classrooms, learning material and they have facility structures to provide such training. For the accreditation of security officers, the most common abuse that security officers had to deal with was that they endorse themselves into the training environment but do not go through the actual training and buy the certificate. PSIRA was clamping down on this abuse in the industry. There were plans to take over the certification of security officers. In future PSIRA would allow the providers to train officers, but the assessment would be done by PSIRA online as well as physically. The process was still underway and that they were procuring an online system to assist in doing so. PSIRA would be the one to issue training certificates instead of the training provider. The certificates would be digitalised so that there is no replication of the certificates. The curriculum will be addressed to ensure that there is accountability in the training. These measures will appropriately address the challenges faced with accreditation.

Mr T Mafanya (EFF) asked about the research that has been done on labour broking. He asked if the certification indicated if the service provider was endorsed to provide training. He asked for a few of the state law enforcement agencies that assisted to be named.

The Acting Chairperson asked how many security officers were South Africans and how many foreign nationals. She was impressed with the progress made in employment equity. However, she requested that the representation be stated in number format in addition to the percentages provided.

Mr Chauke replied that the law does allow PSIRA to employ foreign nationals as security officers. They are allowed to be employed in the industry only if the individual has permanent residence status in the country. PSIRA did not have the number at hand and that they would be able to provide the number of foreign nationals who were legally registered with PSIRA. There were not many. There are other stringent requirements that foreign nationals would have to meet for PSIRA to register as security officers. For instance, one is that the individual must provide a criminal record clearance from the country of origin before they can register. The requirement is the same for people who have lived outside the country for more than five years, even if they are South African nationals. In terms of equity, the previous Amendment Bill tried to address the appointment of foreign nationals. However, the amendment of that part of the legislation was not achieved. Various Constitutional Court judgements ensure the employment of foreign nationals with permanent residence status.

The Acting Chairperson asked for an indication on its target number and percentage for employment of people with disabilities.

Mr Chauke replied that PSIRA unfortunately did not have the statistics on disabled officers, but there were a number of security officers that are disabled who are employed. Although a small number, PSIRA does have employees who are disabled in its offices.

The Acting Chairperson asked if PSIRA inspections checked the sites where people were placed. She asked why most security officers at the mall (or the car guards) are foreign nationals, considering that there are South Africans that can do the work.

Adv Mbana replied that PSIRA utilises the Department of Labour to get rid of exploitation, utilises Home Affairs to ensure the removal of illegal foreign nationals, and is using SAPS services for firearms and inspections. The report on R 21 would be available in two weeks.

The Acting Chairperson suggested that PSIRA should consider those that speak sign language. She noted that it would be important to have people who sign to be in areas such as schools and hospitals. She asked for more to be shared the research that had been done. The police had presented on school safety, but there is no common understanding. A separate seminar should be held with schools, school governing bodies, the police and every relevant stakeholder when considering security at schools.

Mr Nhlanhla Ngubane, PSIRA Acting Council Chairperson, remarked that the question about community controls and commercial purposes relates to the issue about security at schools. Often MECs responsible for education in provinces, look to the community to be involved when they look at how to provide security for schools. This cause challenges, and the research that PSIRA has done addresses several issues.

The Acting Chairperson noted that the PSIRA Council had some council members who had been there since 2013 and others only from 2017. She wanted clarity on how long the term of council is. The leases of all offices are expiring in 2021 and she asked what the PSIRA plan is – if they will have their own buildings.

Mr Chauke replied that the term for council members was three years, but that a term could be extended twice for a council member, but not more than twice. This means that a member of council can serve up to nine years from the date of the initial appointment. There has always been an overlap, where there is at least one older member on the council.

The Acting Chairperson asked about PSIRA social responsibility for registered security companies and communities. She asked for an update on the PSIRA Amendment Bill.

Mr Ngubane replied that pages 91 and 92 of the Annual Report provided a report on its corporate social responsibility. Being responsive to the needs of the security officers on the ground, we have now started to annually celebrate their achievements. PSIRA now celebrates academic achievers in the private security industry. The stories were contained in PSIRA Annual Report. Security officers can receive discounts at certain stores when they present their staff cards. PSIRA had signed an agreement with PRASA for officers to get discounts, but only if they are dressed in their uniform. This will act as a crime deterrent on trains when there are security officers in their midst. PSIRA has launched the first miniature golf day to raise funding to assist in expanding its social responsibility.

The Acting Chairperson thanked Mr Ngubane and stated that communities would like to know about the good work that is being done. She asked why PSIRA did not raise their hands to train community policing forums and community safety forums. Would the PSIRA training academy take the CPFs for training? She asked that PSIRA think about whether this was something it could assist with. She asked if there has been a meeting with the Civilian Secretariat of Police Service about the research outcomes.

Mr Terblanche agreed that PSIRA could play a role, and it would have to be negotiated with the police, because SAPS is responsible for the CPFs.

Mr Chauke replied that it was correct to say that the responsibility for community patrols and CPFs is a role that is played by the police. The difference is that PSIRA is concerned with those who are in security for commercial purposes. Those who are not doing it for commercial purposes will be outside PSIRA’s regulation. PSIRA does assist from time to time. He gave an example of PSIRA’s recent visit to Tzaneen to assist security patrols with items such as radios, jackets, shoes, and torches that were all donated by private security companies. PSIRA will investigate what kind of training can be agreed to that can assist community patrols and neighbourhood watches to better understand what the limitations of the law are and the work required of them. Most clashes arise due to misunderstanding of laws. These are things that will be looked at in the future.

Mr Terblanche noted that more and more private security is appointed to do safety work at schools. One would need specific training for provision of security in schools, because there had been incidents where security guards have committed crimes against the school children. He asked PSIRA to take note of creating a specific curriculum for training for school security so that the right people are deployed in schools.

Mr Chauke thanked Mr Terblanche for the brief on safety in schools. Part of PSIRA’s research touched on the specific training of people that are guarding children in schools. These have not yet been formulated but that it is something that PSIRA is looking at in future. Regulations would be changed to ensure that people apply for specific sectors. It is important to look at the requirements for registration and the first is that an individual must be fit and proper and be of a sound mind. Through the research PSIRA will create a criterion that outlines what a ‘fit and proper’ person is for a specific sector in the industry, to ensure that there are not paedophiles guarding children in schools.

The Acting Chairperson asked if that was all in terms of the audit.

Ms Sebogodi replied that the comments that were made by the Chair for future presentations are noted. PSIRA appreciated the learning curve. Measures for internal control have been put in place that led to the clean audit and the sustainability of the clean audit will be implemented and monitored by the relevant structures.

The Acting Chairperson said she had heard of a security company that did not provide an insurance service for their security officer who had died while working. She asked if PSIRA checks if the companies have insurance for employees. She appreciated the new security companies with women, but noted that they cannot compete with the male companies who are a majority. She advised that women should be contracted to work at schools.

Mr Chauke explained that there is a fund available for security officers which provides life cover and funeral cover in case an officer dies in the line of duty. However, the questions PSIRA tried to address with the guarantee fund were the exact questions that the Acting Chairperson raised. The lessons that have been learned by PSIRA in the drafting of the contract is that there are a lot of regulators in the space. However, he agrees that what is available is not enough. In the case of the security officers without life insurance, it could be a question of non-compliance by the security companies.

Ms Faku noted that there is a crisis about security in schools and she was happy that PSIRA has done research in that area. It is important to do research and present it to the Minister, instead of waiting on the Minister of Education. She understood that the training of the security officers is the core business, but that there is an element of customer service that PSIRA needs to address. She asked if Adv Mbana could provide some of the recommendations made on the issuing of firearms.

Mr Chauke agreed that there are several complaints received by PSIRA and he suspected that it is has do with the training. PSIRA would look to what extent the matter of customer service could be addressed in relation to human rights. The training programme that will be deployed has been addressing the code of conduct and human rights.

Mr Mafanya highlighted that Members should consider the Annual Report that PSIRA had provided. Answers to a lot of the questions asked are in the report and it would have been beneficial if the Annual Report had been provided prior to the meeting. He asked that in future, such material should be provided a few days prior to the engagement.

The Acting Chair replied that it is something that is going to be discussed.  

Mr Shembeni asked if leave and minimum wage are well looked after in the security industry.

Mr Chauke replied that security officers are entitled to leave, and provision is made for that.

The Acting Chairperson noted the matter of uniform compliance which PSIRA had to implement. The draft uniform regulations were presented in the previous meeting and PSIRA was in the process of consolidating all the comments that were received and is in the process of dispatching the final regulations to the Office of the Minister. She stated the Committee was still dealing with the matter of the firearm amnesty, that gun-free association and gun owners have different views. The Committee had thought that the matter would be raised by PSIRA. However, the matter will not be addressed for now because she understood that the Deputy Minister would call a seminar about that.

Mr Shembeni congratulated PSIRA and stated that it was a job well done.

The Acting Chairperson thanked PSIRA and adjourned the meeting.

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