Saturday, July 13, 2024

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Insignia regulations: PSiRA still going after shades of blue

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The regulations on the use of any shade of blue and camouflage in security uniforms might have been temporarily revoked, but they are still being considered.

The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSiRA) told ProtectionWeb the consultation process was ongoing.

In 2019 PSiRA told Parliament it proposed the regulations were to ensure that uniforms with resembles of the police and other law enforcement agencies are prohibited to avoid confusion in the public. It also proposed that the use of camouflage in the security industry be disallowed.

At the time, PSiRA director Manabela Chauke said based on research findings it could be argued that the use of uniforms that “are closely resembling of the SA Police Service and the military by private security companies cause confusion about their identity” and can be calculated as a deception to the public.

The Security Association of South Africa (SASA) hauled PRiSA to court when the regulations were gazetted and signed into law by the Minister of Police, without any effective consultation with the industry in 2021.

SASA national administrator Tony Botes told ProtectionWeb the association supported the principle that no uniform, vehicle or insignia may reasonably resemble that of police and law enforcement institutions, but the regulations must be much more specific and reasonable, “keeping in mind that here are literally hundreds, if not thousands of shades of blue.”

“Blue is, as we are all aware, the dominant colour being used by the private security industry and PSIRA is unable to specify which shade of blue (or the great number of other colours) would be prohibited or permitted; neither can they provide any statistics as to how many, if any, successful prosecutions they have had against companies or individuals.”

“It must be kept in mind that the army uses khaki and brown, the Navy blue, black and white, the Air Force predominantly blue and khaki, correctional services khaki, yellow and green and the Metro or municipal police differs from town or city to town or city,” Botes explained.

He said if the regulations came into effect it would force many companies to spend millions of Rands on rebranding.

“The impact would be catastrophic! In addition to the massive costs, millions of rand, to the industry as a whole. It would, joking aside, leave us only with such colours as lilac and pink for uniforms.”

Botes said SASA would wait to see if PSiRa was prepared to be more reasonable going forward.

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