n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Reposioning the private sector security industry in South Africa in the 21 st century - the need for professionalism of the private security practitioner

Volume 14, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



A significant mind shift is necessary if the private security industry in South Africa is to survive. Contract security providers need to increase their professionalism and should start seeing their employees as assets and a long-term investment. The aim of this paper is to elucidate the view that the private security industry in South Africa will earn respect through better training and education, which will earn its employees more responsibility that adds value in the customer's eyes. It is generally believed that a security policy should form part of the future business plans of trade and industry and is an internationally established practice to overcome the threats against profitability. Across the globe, crime remains the single largest threat and South Africa is by no means an exception to this rule. It is the author's view that security practice will only play a meaningful role if this career is to be practised as a profession, in accordance with the structural and functional requirements of trade and industry. The security services industry in South Africa primarily serves and protects the interests and assets of commerce and industry, in order to maintain profitability, economic growth and job creation, as well as to develop welfare and stability among the various communities. Professionalism of the private security industry in South Africa will benefit South African society as a whole by enhancing the security practitioner's business and financial management skills, labour relations skills, judicial and commercial knowledge and generally improving specialised security practice. Furthermore, it is the contention that in the process, practitioners will be empowered and their competencies enhanced in the field of management, labour training, strategic organisational security, the planning of asset protection strategies, security risk assessment surveys, loss control measures, industrial security and contingency planning. Given the above, the private security industry in South Africa is here to stay, and will continue to complement the South African Police Service in its efforts to combat crime.

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