The latest numbers from the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (Psira) show that the country currently has 500,000 active security officers, with over 1.5 million registered officers.
This is far higher than the South African Police force and the military, combined.
The South African police force, meanwhile, has around 153,000 sworn in police officers, while the South African army has only 89,000 active personnel – about half as many people as the private security force.
The private security sector is a multi-billion rand industry, with citizens paying up to R45 billion a year for private protection.
However, despite the growth of the industry, and an increase in the number of active security officers between 2016 and 2017 (472,097 to 498,435) – not all categories of security are equal.
The number of security providers in South Africa has increased from 8,830 in 2016 to 8,995 in 2017 – an addition of 165 new SPs.
In terms of registered security businesses, however, there has been a marked decreased – moving down from 35,150 in 2016 to 31,470 in 2017. This decline of 3,680 registered businesses is across the board, with all but four business categories showing a drop.
The only increases were seen in cash-in-transit guards, reaction services, alarm installers, and dog trainers.
Here are the biggest types of security businesses in the country:
|Security Business||No. of businesses 2016||No. of businesses 2017||Change|
|Security Guards||6 847||6 482||-365|
|Reaction Services||3 433||3 604||+171|
|Security Guards: Cash-in-transit||2 474||2 717||+243|
|Special Events||2 648||2 178||-470|
|Entertainment / Venue Control||2 588||2 119||-469|
|Body Guards||2 465||2 062||-403|
|Security Consultant||2 308||1 911||-397|
|Security Control Room||2 187||1 824||-363|
|Security Equipment Installer||1 868||1 572||-296|
|Rendering of Security Services||1 846||1 528||-318|
|Training||1 683||1 401||-282|
|Private Investigator||1 509||1 278||-231|
|Car Watch||1 502||1 245||-257|
|Manufacture Security Equipment||876||747||-129|
|Locksmith / Key Cutter||542||461||-81|
|Security and Loss Control||101||86||-15|
|Fire Prevention and Detection||55||47||-8|
What security guards get paid
From 1 September 2017, SA’s massive security workforce saw salaries increase by an average of 6.4%, based on the latest sectoral determination for 2017/18.
Private officers are paid according to the roles and responsibilities they have and the areas they work in. They are therefore graded between A and E based on the the type of duty they perform.
|Grade A||Primary function would normally be a site manager or commander. Controlling and managing a number of functions. Managing the security workforce. Conducting risk assessments and evaluations on site daily. Basic investigative skills. Problem solving. Designing security solutions.|
|Grade B||Primary function is access control in high-risk areas where documentation and basic computer skills might be required. A site or shift commander. Managing of lower grade security officers. Possible inspector doing site visits.|
|Grade C||Primary function is access control of a higher risk area and supervision of lower grade security officers|
|Grade D & E||Primary function is access control, or patrol officers|
The rate of pay differs across South Africa in the following brackets:
|Area 1||Alberton, Bellville, Benoni, Boksburg, Bloemfontein, Brakpan, Camperdown, Chatsworth, Durban, East London, Germiston, Goodwood, Inanda, Johannesburg, Kempton Park, Kimberley, Klerksdorp, Krugersdorp, Kuils River, Mitchell’s Plain, Nigel, Oberholzer, Paarl, Pietermaritzburg, Pinetown, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Randburg, Randfontein, Roodepoort, Sasolburg, Simon’s Town, Somerset West, Springs, Stellenbosch, Strand, The Cape, Uitenhage, Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging, Westonaria, Wonderboom and Wynberg|
|Area 2||All other areas|
The monthly revised pay is as follows:
|Security Officer||Area 1||Area 2|
|Grade A||R5 209||R4 474|
|Grade B||R4 668||R3 934|
|Grade C, D & E||R4 102||R3 414|
|Unspecified||R3 534||R2 933|
As part of the three year determination, grade D and E officers will earn the same as grade C in the third year, and area 2 and 3 (2016) will simply become area 2, as presented above.