South African citizens turn to private security businesses for protection

Experts warn that the police force in South Africa is losing the battle against crime after a series of carjackings and robberies led to citizens turning to private security companies.

According to the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority, there are more than 2.7 million registered private security officers in the country which makes South Africa‘s security industry one of the largest in the world.

Comparing this figure to the country’s 150,000 police officers, there is a clear difference between the size of each force.

Private security companies earn a monthly fee for offering protection to their clients, be it through armed means or for patrolling neighbourhoods, and tracking and recovering cars.

Figures from PSIRA show that over 580,000 private security guards are currently active and employed, which is more than the police and army combined.

Security businesses in South Africa continue to grow in numbers, as the need for further protection increases.

However, it is only for the wealthy who can afford the services.

Chad Thomas, an organised crime expert told The Associated Press: “People with money make up a very small percentage of South Africa. That means that the vast majority of South Africans don’t really benefit from this security industry.

“If you live in a traditional township environment, or if you live in an informal settlement, it is few and far between that you will see security patrols in those areas because they don’t have paying customers.”

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