Big shake-up to hit private security in South Africa

Police minister Bheki Cele has published draft regulations around training in South Africa’s private security industry, including minimum standards that need to be followed.

The draft regulations note that the industry plays an important part in protecting and safeguarding persons and property in the country.

However, this requires high standards in the training of security officers and security providers, said Cele. He added that the new regulations introduce obligatory security training and ensure that the training provided meets the necessary requirements.

The draft regulations provide for:

  • Determining the level of requirements for training levels, training courses, training models and what is considered a ‘pass’ in training;
  • Outlines the time periods for training, and how officers will be evaluated;
  • Provides regulations around instructors, including who is allowed to offer training, what experience they have and whether they have the necessary accreditation;
  • Instructors will also be required to be registered and keep information on the type, level and scale of the various training programmes.
  • Minimum requirements for training centres and the services that they offer.

In addition, the regulations provide for a number of ‘specialised’ courses which will allow security officials to be trained in responding to specific crimes and situations in South Africa

This includes an ‘assets in transit’ course a ‘reaction services’ course and security services for ‘special events’. Special courses are also provided for dog handlers and the use of firearms.

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In a separate gazette, Cele detailed new draft regulations around the use of ‘remotely piloted aircraft systems’ – more colloquially known as drones – in South Africa.

While South Africa’s private security groups have used drones for several years for tasks such as estate monitoring and anti-poaching activities, drone licences were given on a cases-by-cases basis, and until now there were no rules for drone usage by the private sector as a whole.

The draft regulations will make it easier for private security companies in South Africa to use drones in their operations – however, the proposed rules also make it clear that the use of remotely piloted aircraft will be heavily monitored and controlled to ensure that their usage is not abused or unlawful.

Specific issues that the draft regulations cover include:

  • The process of applying for drone usage, including the information of the security companies and who will be piloting the aircraft;
  • Ensuring the people piloting the drones have the correct licences and qualifications;
  • Regular assessments and a register of people authorised to fly drones at these companies;
  • Determining the conditions around when private security companies may operate drones and advertise their services.

Read: Why South Africa ranks as one of the worst places to live right now

Artmotion S.Africa

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