Car guards are required to be registered according to the private security act

Questions have been raised as to whether informal car guards are subject to the same law as private security companies?

CapeTalk's Breakfast Show has received calls for from listeners who say car guards are charging people R50 for parking on the side the road in Woodstock. The area is usually a hive of activity on the weekend when the Old Biscuit Mill has its market days.

According to Mayco Member for Safety and Security in the City of Cape Town JP Smith, this is not a criminal offence.

However, are these "car guards" required to be registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) which is tasked with regulating the private security agency.

Senior Manager for Law Enforcement at PSIRA, Jan Sambo talks to Kieno Kammies about the issue.

Sambo says yes.

In terms of the Private Security Act of 2001, it is very specific that any person who renders the security service of protecting property or person for reward must be registered with PSIRA, so car guards even getting a donation must be registered.

Jan Sambo, Senior Manager for Law Enforcement - PSIRA

Anyone not registered with PSIRA is contravening the PSIRA Act section 20 and that is misconduct and a criminal offence. So we do open a criminal case against them and go with the police and arrest them because they don't have valid registration.

Jan Sambo, Senior Manager for Law Enforcement - PSIRA

Mayco Member for Safety and Security in the City of Cape Town JP Smith joins the conversation and disagrees with Sambo.

I don't believe that is the correct interpretation.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

Smith says if for arguments' sake, one agrees with the interpretation then only PSIRA can regulate it.

PSIRA will now have to go and deal with every car guard in South Africa because local authorities do not have the power to enforce PSIRA's legislation.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

In the specific case of the Woodstock Biscuit Mill, where cases have been reported of threats and intimidation from car guards, Sambo agrees PSIRA will follow-up with car guards in that area and engage with the City and police..

Listen to the interviews below:


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