Private security industry continues to grow despite looming new regulations

The private security industry in South Africa is among the largest in the world. It is now a R45 billion-a-year industry, and it is growing at a staggering rate. The majority of customers using private security services are businesses, but individual users are starting to invest more in security systems and the services that go along with them.

The fact that the country’s private security industry is growing is astonishing on its own. There has been an increase in the crime rate over the years, and private security is the solution customers are relying on more and more. 

More than volume 

Private security firms across the country are taking advantage of market growth to expand their operations. These companies are hiring professional security specialists to lead smaller teams in handling projects in their portfolios. On top of that, there has been a big increase in investment, especially in the equipment department. 

Some firms are adding high-quality security vehicles to their armada, complete with automatic license plate recognition, facial recognition, and other advanced features. They are working with companies from the United States and Europe to create new tools and to gain access to bigger catalogues of police supply

As a result of these investments, private security companies are now able to offer a wider range of services, including the protection of commercial and residential complexes. The nation’s overstretched police force has even fallen behind when it comes to equipment and the amount of funding available to them. 

A vital source of jobs 

Customers are not the only ones benefitting from the rapid growth of the private security industry. The growing demand for security services also means more jobs are being created in the field. Combined, private security firms employ over 500,000 registered security officers across South Africa. That’s almost twice the size of the nation’s police force. 

The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSiRA) is also taking a more active role in regulating the industry. We’re seeing better standards and detailed regulations helping to shape the industry. However, the government recently changed its Ministry of Safety and Security to Ministry of Police, signalling a possible centralisation of policing in the country. 

The threat doesn’t seem to have had an effect on the industry just yet, but representatives for PSiRA are sounding their concerns. Julie Berg, an expert on Safety Governance and Criminology from the University of Cape Town, also stated that these concerns are warranted. 

More startups joining the market 

Aside from more private security service providers, South Africa is also seeing an increase in the number of startups entering the security market. In today’s age of technology, IT is being used to provide security solutions for home and business users alike. 

Smarter video surveillance, better alarm systems, and other new products are now available. These systems can be used in tandem with existing security services from established firms, which means customers – particularly businesses – can protect their assets better without having to invest in overly complicated solutions. 

Whether the private security industry will survive more changes in regulations remains to be seen. In the meantime, the industry continues to grow at a steady and healthy rate. 


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