Have your say on security policy proposal

Members of the public are invited to express their views on the new proposed policy for private security operating in public spaces.

According to the chairperson of the City of Cape Town’s safety and security portfolio committee, Mzwakhe Nqavashe, this came about when the Safety and Security Directorate identified what it regards as reasonable steps that the City should take to strengthen its oversight of Central Improvement Districts(CIDs) when it comes to the deployment of private security officers in public spaces for purposes of performing a public safety function.

“It is expected that these procedures will guide duly qualified safety and security officers employed by the CIDs and thereby prevent harm or injury to members of the public by safety and security officers, whose chief responsibility it is to provide a safety service in public spaces,” said Mr Nqavashe.

This step by the directorate will ensure that private security service providers appointed by CIDs maintain an acceptable level of control of its employees.

Mr Nqavashe said to achieve this, CIDs would be required, as part of their business plans, to provide a detailed deployment plan indicating the number of security officers to be deployed, the number of supervisory staff that will be dedicated to this deployment and a description of command and control measures that will be maintained.

When asked whether there had been specific incidents that led to the review, Mr Nqavashe said this had been informed by the expansion of the directorate’s oversight in respect of private security deployed in public spaces, to align with section 2.3 of the City’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) programme.

This comes shortly after an incident that involved a private security company, Professional Protection Alternatives (PPA), and beachgoers on Clifton 4th beach in December last year. The private security guards reportedly told the people to leave the beach because it was closing at 8pm.

The matter caused upset throughout the country, which resulted in the Department of Environmental Affairs, Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA), the City, PPA and SAPS and affected people to appear before parliament’s Environmental Affairs Portfolio Committee on Monday last week.

In a statement released after the meeting,the committee expressed its unhappiness with the reported conduct of the PPA: “The committee is particularly unhappy with the reported conduct of the PPA where; based (on the) deliberations in the committee meeting; that they exceed their mandate and conduct public functions that are supposed to be conducted by SAPS of monitoring and regulating the conduct of members of the public in the beaches.

In this regard, the committee would like to support the current inquiry by PSIRA looking at the conduct of PPA.”

Comments, input, recommendation, or inquiries can be submitted to Anton Visser on 021 400 1170 or email: anton.visser@capetown.gov.za