Government is shaking up the rules around security guards in South Africa – here’s what you need to know

The minister of police, Bheki Cele, has gazetted a number of changes for security guards in South Africa – including new rules around what uniforms they may wear.

According to the amendment regulations published on Friday (31 May), South African security guard uniforms must:

  • Be suitable for use by the security officer in view of the nature of the security service rendered;
  • Have at least 2 badges, prominently attached to the visible portion of the uniform, with the name of the security business employing the security officer clearly legible on them;
  • Have a badge, attached to the visible portion of the front top part of the uniform, with the name and registration number of the security officer clearly legible on it;
  • Have a badge, which is at least 10 centimetres in length and 1.5 centimetres in height with the words “Private Security” clearly legible on it, prominently attached to the visible portion of each of the front top part and the back top part of the uniform;
  • Not be identical to, an imitation of, or resemble, or reasonably be capable of being mistaken for that of the South African Police Service, the South African National Defence Force, the Department of Correctional Services or any other law enforcement agency.

The regulations state that security companies can make a special application should they wish for their uniforms to bear a similarity to a law enforcement agency (such as the SAPS), but that all designs need to be submitted for approval.

Tracking and use of firearms 

In a separate Gazette also published on Friday, Cele outlined changes to how South African security companies use and track firearms.

Any security business which intends to use firearms, must, in writing inform the Authority of its intention to possess and use firearms for the rendering of security services, along with with a copy of its application submitted to the Control Firearms Registrar, “the Gazette states.

Security companies must also be able to provide:

  • A copy of the firearm licence issued to the security business in terms of the Firearms Control Act;
  • The total number and type of licenced firearms and ammunition issued to and possessed by the security business;
  • The total number of weapons issued to and used by security officers;
  • The total number of firearms and ammunition issued to the security officers when on duty or rendering security services;
  • Full particulars of security officers issued with firearms, ammunition or any other weapon;
  • Any additional information that the Authority may require.

The regulations also place limitations on the types of security personnel which carry firearms, how guard dogs should be treated, what happens to the firearms when the guard leaves the company, where firearms may be used and more.


Read: The seating plan that will best keep your kids safe in a hijacking in South Africa

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Government is shaking up the rules around security guards in South Africa – here’s what you need to know