10 November 2017

South Africa: Metrorail Fined R3 Million

Independent sources have told GroundUp that the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) has fined Metrorail R3 million for employing security staff who are not registered under the PSIRA Act.

PSIRA was established in 2001 to regulate the private security industry and ensure that security service providers act in the public and national interest in the interest of the private security industry itself.

Western Cape Regional Security Manager Ernest Hendricks wrote a damning letter to Tiro Holele, an executive in the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) Head Office in Pretoria, detailing the breakdown of security on the railway lines.

In the leaked letter, dated 31 May, Hendricks stated that "it is a known fact that 80% of our [Metrorail security] staff is not PSIRA registered due to service providers who trained our staff and have failed to register the staff after completion of the training they conducted".

But according to the Security Industry Regulation Act, no person or security company "may in any manner render a security service for remuneration, reward, a fee or benefit, unless such a person is registered as a security service provider in terms of this Act". This means that all companies or individuals who work in the private security sector need to be registered with PSIRA, which, according to Hendricks's letter, is not the case at Metrorail.

In the letter, Hendricks also said that many of the security staff cannot be registered with PSIRA because of their criminal records. He wrote that Metrorail promised to assist in getting their records expunged but this never happened. Hendricks also wrote that in 2015 a decision was taken to transfer the staff with criminal records to other departments but "thus far this issue is still unresolved".

PSIRA did not answer GroundUp's questions at the time of publication. A follow-up article will be written once GroundUp has received PSIRA's response.

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