Saturday, May 18, 2024


elections 2024: More than 350 private security companies enlisted to assist police

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More than 350 private security companies across South Africa will pool their resources to assist police in hotspot areas, leading to the national general elections on 29 May.

This includes deploying drones and helicopters, and supplying police with CCTV footage and access to their control room monitoring systems.

A meeting between private security role-players and police was held this week where police outlined their general elections security plan.

The plan, compiled by the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS), is based on a thorough threat and crime pattern analysis.

This includes police and voting stations, which have received threats of intimidation before Election Day, as well as areas prone to service delivery issues.

During a briefing on Sunday by the Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster, police minister Bheki Cele refused to go into detail about the national security plan.

However, Cele did reveal that out of the 23700 voting stations across the country, 500 were identified as high-risk.

“We are putting our eyes firmly on those. We have worked with the Independent Electoral Commission, we have those (voting stations) that are giving us problems,” he said.

This week members of The Eyes and Ears Initiative (E2), a joint crime-fighting initiative between SAPS, Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA) and the private security industry, were briefed on the general elections security plan.

BACSA executive project manager Fouché Burgers said about 350 members of the E2 initiative will assist police both before and after elections.

“We had meetings with the police, we have regular meetings with the police not just during election time. During elections, it’s not only the day of elections, it’s both before and after. We will focus on being better eyes and ears for police, with our geographically broadened footprint of the private security industry across the country, and of course with technology such as helicopters and cameras. We will feed the police with situational information, what’s happening on the ground constantly, to make sure they are able to respond quicker.”

Burgers emphasised private security would not be taking over police functions but merely assist on a supportive basis.

It is understood that at least 20 helicopters will be supplied and deployed by private security in Gauteng alone during the election period.



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