The Department of Labour has announced new minimum wages for the private security sector – which will rise 7.1% with effect from 1 September 2016.
Private security has become a major industry and employer in South Africa, due to the country’s high rates of crime.
As an example, Fidelity Security Group announced earlier this month that it intends to buy ADT, the South African security business belonging to US based Tyco for approximately R1.9 billion ($140 million).
ADT provides central monitoring services including video surveillance and dispatch, armed response, access control and other security-related services to more than 365,000 residential, small-to-medium sized enterprises and larger commercial customers.
Upon completion of the merger, the expanded Fidelity group would have more than 168 points of presence across Southern Africa and support around 57,000 employees.
Such is the size of the industry, that the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) believes that the number of private security officers has more than tripled that of police officers since 1997.
“The private industry has more boots on the ground than the police and the military combined,” SAIRR CEO Frans Cronje said earlier this year.
He said that in 2014 there were 153,116 sworn police officials, versus nearly (487,058) half a million registered security officers.
According to the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (Psira), there are over 1.87 million registered security officers in South Africa – 490,000 of which are classified as active.
And where police officers in South Africa earn between R105,000 and R156,000 a year – the average pay for private security officers is much lower at between R37,596 and R58,752 annually.
Private officers are paid according to the roles and responsibilities they have. Guards 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|
The rate of pay differs across South Africa in the following brackets:
|Area 1||Areas around Gauteng, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, and Cape Town|
|Area 2||Areas around Bloemfontein, East London, Kimberley, Klerksdorp, Pietermaritzburg, Somerset West, Stellenbosch and the Strand|
|Area 3||All other areas|
The monthly revised pay is as follows:
|Security Officer||Area 1||Area 2||Area 3|
|Grade A||R4 896||R4 474||R4 063|
|Grade B||R4 387||R4 004||R3 697|
|Grade C||R3 797||R3 489||R3 157|
|Grade D & E||R3 792||R3 446||R3 133|