Massive private security pay strike set for September in South Africa – here’s how much they earn in 2022


Unions of private security workers in South Africa are deadlocked in wage negotiations with employers, paving the way for a massive strike in September.

Unions are demanding a pay rise of 16% or R900 across the board, with additional benefits including leave for extended family responsibilities.

According to the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu), the employers rejected the request, offering only 5%.

“We are currently in the process of submitting our picketing rules and will meet with the employer on September 1,” the union said.

He expects the rules to be finalized and signed on September 12, with strike action expected on September 26.

“Going on strike is not our priority because more than 500,000 security guards would be affected. However, the employer leaves us no choice (but) to go on strike and we will not back down,” he said.

Union leaders said private security officers outnumbered South African police by more than double – and more than triple the National Defense Force.

They said the government, all private employers, factories, businesses and even hospitals must appreciate the protection these services provide.+

“The impact (of the strike) will be huge,” they said.

Private security guards who earn around 5,000 rand a month in Johannesburg say they have not received a pay rise for the past three years.

What Security Officers Earn

Data from the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) shows that there are more than 2.4 million registered security officers across the country, including just under a million in Gauteng alone. The country has a total of 11,372 registered security companies.

Being a registered security guard does not equate to employment, and data from PSIRA shows that far fewer security guards are actively employed (564 540) Across the country.

An illustrative contractual circular published by PSIRA in June 2022 showed that salaries vary from R4,786- R6,217 per month depending on their role and the geographical area in which they work. This equates to an annual salary of between R57,432 – R74,604.

However, it should be noted that these are not final and a security guard can earn significantly more depending on the security company they work for, their role and their skills.

Private security guards in South Africa are paid according to the roles and responsibilities they have. Guards are therefore classified between A and E depending on the type of duty they perform.

To note Function
Class A The primary function would normally be a site manager or commander. Control and manage a number of functions. Management of security personnel. Conduct daily risk assessments and on-site assessments. Basic investigative skills. Problem solving. Design of security solutions.
Category B The primary function is access control to high risk areas where documentation and basic computer skills may be required. A site or shift supervisor. Management of lower level security officers. Potential inspector making site visits.
Class C Main function is access control to high risk area and supervision of lower level security guards
Class D and E The main function is access control, or patrol officers

Salary is further separated into regional areas, with more densely populated regions generally paying higher amounts.

Area Blankets
Area 1 & Area 2 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 3 All other areas

The rate of pay differs across South Africa in the following brackets.

Security agent Areas 1 & 2 Area 3
Class A R6 217 R5 239
Category B R5,640 R4 824
Class C, D and E R5 036 R4 786

Read: Private security industry threatens to leave schools, stores and properties unguarded in massive strike


Comments are closed.