Hi-Tech Security Solutions recently hosted the Residential Estate Security Conference, focusing on the people, technology and processes involved in an effective security solution for estates.  Andrew Sheldon, editor of Hi-Tech Security Solutions, summarised the presentation by the National Administrator of the Security Association of South Africa (SASA),Tony Botes.

Botes addressed the touchy subject of whether estates should outsource their guarding requirements or hire and train their own guards. Both options have their supporters and detractors and the Residential Security Conference saw arguments from the delegates for both sides of the argument. In his presentation, Botes also touched on the regulations around guarding services in South Africa and some of the future changes we will see in this regard.

One of the first, and potentially most important points raised by Botes was that the regulations for guards (Sectoral Determination 6, or SD6) that apply to the private security industry, don’t apply to estates that hire their own guards. These organisations need to follow the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, which states that, for example, the hours of work in general will be 45 hours per week, or nine in any day. (Of course, more work can be done, but this would require the overtime rules to come into effect.)

What this means in reality is that, while the security industry has adjusted hours from which it works as per SD6, estates do not have this benefit. Therefore, while a security company can assign three guards to cover one 24×7 shift, an estate would require 3.7 or the 0.7 would be overtime. Additionally, an estate would have to have ‘spare guards’ to cater for sick days, annual leave, family responsibilities etc. When outsourcing your guarding service this becomes someone else’s problem.

Botes also touched on the rules PSIRA is tasked with enforcing, noting the increased action it is taking to address non-compliance in the industry. Delegates could also speak to PSIRA directly as they had a display stand at the conference. The issue of compliance is one that will be more aggressively addressed in future.

In closing, Botes noted that even in a world where technology is taking on much of the security tasks that used to be assigned to guards, the number of registered guards in the country is still growing. And speaking to the people who always want a cheaper deal, he said your security may cost a lot, but you should also calculate the cost of poor security.

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