Government spending on private security is in the billions

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It is common knowledge that the physical security of many South African police stations is outsourced to private security companies and although not nearly as widespread, the broader South African defense sector is also a user. private security.

In this context, a major player in the firearms, weapons and protection sector, Outdoor Investment Holdings, points out that the national government is spending more than R16 billion on contracts with private sector security companies.

Unable to rely on the SA Police Service (SAPS) to secure the state, national government departments and other state bodies are engaged in hundreds of long-term private security contracts of different durations, costing the tax authorities more than R16.9 billion.

“This does not include the dozens of monthly contracts to which various government departments and entities are parties. It also does not include private security contracts involving provincial and local governments, ”said Marco van Niekerk, Managing Director of Outdoor Investment Holdings.

According to his calculations, the state spends nearly R100 billion a year on private security contracts in all spheres and branches of government to provide services “which should be provided by the police.”

Van Niekerk said it was not surprising that the state is “so dependent” on the private security sector that the police are unable to prevent and investigate all crimes.

Another indicator of the spread of private sector security comes from data released in November. It showed that “there were four times more active private security guards than police officers.”

According to Van Niekerk, the ever-increasing spread of private security makes it “incomprehensible” for the government to continue its attempts to enact the bill amending the gun control bill.

“Severe limitations on the ability of private security providers to own ammunition will render the private security industry effectively unable to use force to tackle violent crime.

“The bill makes it illegal to own a firearm for self-defense and places drastic limitations on hunting and sport shooting licenses, which would end the entire southern hunting industry. African, ”he said.

According to Police Minister Bheki Cele, South Africans are murdered at the rate of 68 people per day according to crime statistics for July / September. The 6,163 murders included 897 women and 287 children. Other statistics released by Cele show 9,556 people raped during the same period, an increase of seven percent from the previous quarter. A considerable number of 72,762 cases of common assault and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm were also reported to police.

“The bill will leave South Africans – and the state – solely dependent on a struggling police service without a clear plan for improvement without the ability to protect themselves with guns or contract with the private security to do so, “warns Van Niekerk.

Armscor is an example of private sector security in the public defense sector. Private security companies are invited to bid for their services at Armscor’s headquarters in Pretoria as well as testing facilities such as Alkantpan and Gerotek.

Suggestions have been made previously to use military veterans or even Reserve Force soldiers as custodians of these facilities. To this day, the suggestions seem stillborn.


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