Gaborone — Security companies need to collectively introspect if they are to become viable business entities of repute, says interim chairperson of Security Association of Botswana (SAB), Mr Gaolatlhe Modongo.
Speaking at a meeting which was organised to reflect on current issues affecting security companies as well as to engage the Directorate on Intelligence Security (DIS) on the issue of security vetting, he regretted that although security was one of the oldest business enterprises in the business industry, their owners and employees remained poor.
Mr Modongo, however, attributed the current state of affairs with the security industry to lack of cohesion and strong advocacy among members as well as reluctance by security companies from joining the association, which is their mouth piece.
He said since security was the second highest employer after government with 30 000 employees, there was a need for conducive laws governing the industry and not laws which had the potential to kill the industry.
He added that the security industry which still needed to be nurtured and elevated to international standards.
Mr Modongo called upon security companies to up their game if they wanted to be taken seriously, noting that there were many issues within the industry which needed to be attended to. He said some of them included non-compliance with labour laws by companies, late payment of employees and non-payment of severance payment by companies.
The new Security Act, which comes into effect next month, he said, should be put on hold because "some sections are not favourable to the industry" and have the potential to kill upcoming security companies, especially those owned by the youth.
Owners of different security companies also decried the involvement of DIS in vetting companies that have applied for government tenders.
One company owner complained that he was vetted out just because he did not have jerseys for his staff, while on the other hand he was providing jackets which should be rated equivalent to jerseys.
The interim committee term comes to an end August, and members are expected to elect a new committee tasked with issues deemed to drive the mandate of security companies to greater heights.
Issues on the agenda include website creation, branding, accommodation for the association, membership recruitment, benchmarking from South Africa as well as compliance with regulations governing SAB by individual companies.
Since the DIS director general was not able to attend, the meeting through the committee resolved to pay him a courtesy call in an effort to update him on mutual issues pertaining to security companies and their relationship with DIS.
Source : BOPA