The high insecurity rate in South Africa has propelled an increased number of private security service providers into the security market. The demand for security services has increased over time as more people seek alternative protection from the rising crime rate in the country. Besides this, the high unemployment rate can also be attributed to the current increase of security firms as companies try to create employment. Consequently, there is a need to have these security firms regulated. PSIRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) has been mandated to help oversee this regulation as stipulated in the Private Security Industry Regulation Act of 2001. PSIRA’s main aim is to regulate the private security space and ensure that every firm complies. This means that anyone setting up a security firm in South Africa needs to register with PSIRA.
Who is P.S.I.R.A and What do They Do?
P.S.I.R.A. is the Private Security Industry Regulation Authority. It is responsible for offering guidelines on the registration process for all security-related services in South Africa. It regulates security services that include guarding, monitoring, escorting, armed reaction, and investigations. Besides that, it is also responsible for regulating firms and individuals offering private security. Therefore, it is essential to understand how this system works, especially if you are interested in private security.
This organization performs the following functions:
- Promoting legal private security industry operating as part of the terms of the principles contained in the Constitution and other applicable laws;
- Promoting private security industry characterized by professionalism, accountability, equity, transparency, and accessibility.
- Conducting ongoing studies and investigations of the rendering of security services and checking on the practices of service providers in the sector;
- Instituting legal proceedings against security standards transgressors and receiving and considering applications for registration and renewal of security service provider registration.
- Suspending or withdrawing registration status of security service providers;
- Developing and maintaining standards as well as regulating practices connected with the operation of security service providers and industry employees
- Taking measures to protect and assist security officers and sector employees from abuse and exploitation
- Promoting high training standards for security service providers and incoming prospects
- Developing and maintaining a computerized database for storing industry-based information
- Offering information that promotes and encourages compliance with the security standards as well as the Code of Conduct for Security Service Providers;
- Determining, charging, and collecting fees for all services rendered by the Authority.
Online Booking Process
If you are not in a position to visit P.S.I.R.A. offices to collect the application forms physically, you will love the fact that there is an online application option. This allows you to apply for the necessary documentation at your convenience. All you have to do is visit the P.S.I.R.A. website on www.psira.co.za. Browse the page and go to publications, where you then scroll down to the downloads, select the option for the registration form and choose the one that applies to you. Proceed to register as prompted.
It is important to register on the website to obtain a unique login name and password that you can then use to complete the registration process. This involves the following steps:
- Opening your browser and visiting the official website allows you access to the home page. Once here, click on “NEW BOOKING” on the top MENU. Proceed to select an identity and click on “Next” to continue.
- Follow the prompts and fill in all the required information before clicking “Register.” The captured data will be sent to the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (P.S.I.R.A.) System for verification.
- You’ll then receive an activation message through the indicated preferred contact method. You should click on the link to activate your newly created account.
- Proceed to use the username and temporary password sent to you via email or SMS. These are the details that should be used to log in to your new P.S.I.R.A. account.
- Once you have signed in the first time, you will be prompted to change the password to a preferred one and not the generated one you initially got.
To Log in as an Existing User
- Proceed to your preferred browser.
- Visit the P.S.I.R.A. Online Portal and follow the prompts to perform any of the services P.S.I.R.A. has to offer. This is the official online portal.
The Registration Process
To register a security firm in South Africa, proceed as follows:
- Private security operators in South Africa have to apply through the P.S.I.R.A. director. Start by downloading the relevant forms from the regulator’s website, printing them, and filling them offline. Alternatively, you can consider filling out the forms online.
- Once filled, these forms need to be accompanied by other documents depending on the nature of the security business. Pay attention to the application checklist to understand which supporting documents to attach. This checklist comes attached to the application forms and serves as a guide. Generally, though, there are several P.S.I.R.A. requirements you are likely to expect. These include:
This is necessary when registering the security firm. it includes:
- Trust – These are trust Documents – Master of the High Court or
- Partnership – Partnership Agreement (An Attorney must draft this for it to be recognized as a legal document)
- New Business registration documents as per C.I.P.C.
Individual Documentation from Directors, trustees, Partners, and Members
There are specific documents from each of the involved members needed. These include:
- Proof that the person is registered as a security service provider and that they have been trained (accredited training). Grade E up to B.
- Certified copies of the P.S.I.R.A. certificates
- Certified copies of their national identity cards
- Comprehensive CV
- SIRA 4 (Suretyship form) signed and with initials on each page. This should be done by three signatories and should be in black ink.
You need to provide the following business documents where applicable.
- The business V.A.T. registration number
- The PAYE number
- Unemployment Insurance Fund – This will apply if you are already registered with the Labor Department
- C.O.I.D. / Compensation Fund) – Applies if you are already registered with the Labor Department
- Tax Clearance Certificate. It should be applied via the South African Revenue Service. Note that this is a mandatory requirement.
- Lease agreement/ an alternative proof of business ownership. It should be clear and beyond any reasonable doubt.
- Evidence of used telephonic communication – This can be mobile or landline communication (This could be a statement in the name of the business/owner). If you give proof of landline communication, not in the owner’s name or their business name, you can opt to give an explanatory letter instead.
Other than these, you need to show:
- Annual Business Plan: You should be able to submit a concrete one-year business plan.
- Resolution: You need to show that you can operate in the next year
- Attach specimen resolution on letterhead to SIRA 2
Self-Assessment Infrastructure and Capacity Report / SIRA 24a
Once the registration process is complete, an inspection will be conducted on the business to verify its capacity and infrastructure standards. Beware of possibilities of your business registration being withdrawn if P.S.I.R.A. determines that the business does not meet the required standards.
How Much Does it Cost to Register?
Note that there is a mandatory P.S.I.R.A. registration fee that every interested business must pay as part of the registration process. These are R230 for individuals and R6,750 for businesses. You need to submit the payment via cheque and attach proof of payment during the registration process. There are specific payment details you ought to follow. These are:
To pay for the individual registration, use the following details:
- Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority
- Bank: Nedbank, Arcadia
- Account Number: 1633366200
- Branch Code: 163345
- Ref no: your I.D. number
Firms or Businesses
To pay for business registration, proceed as follows:
- Private Security Industry Authority
- Bank: Nedbank, Arcadia
- Account Number: 16333 66200
- Branch Code: 163345
- Ref no: Director’s I.D. no. (Only)
Remember that these charges only apply for registration. You should be prepared to pay more pro-rata annual fees for the rest of the year once your security business has been registered. Beware that you will be required to pay the annual charges regardless of whether the business is operational or not as long as it was registered. To know the exact annual charges, it is best to check the updated information on the P.S.I.R.A. website.
Once all the above steps have been completed successfully, you are then required to fax or email a downloaded and duly signed copy of the form to P.S.I.R.A. If you can, drop the filled and signed forms at any P.S.I.R.A. offices near you.
The Registration Inquiry S/O
You can understand more about P.S.I.R.A.’s registration process by visiting their website section Inquiry S/O. Here, you get to establish whether your business is compliant even before starting the registration process. However, if you are an individual applicant, you can also check your viability through the website’s verification option. All the relevant information regarding your registration will be found here.
Make sure to check out the list of inspectors on P.S.I.R.A.’s website because they will also be listed there. It will allow you to know which inspector will come to your business.
Private security options seem to be the way out for South Africans. Private security is a creative solution provider for all security needs with the ever-rising crime rate. If this sounds like the space, you would want to venture into. Do your research extensively and ensure that you are P.S.I.R.A. compliant before investing your resources.
Filling and Signing the Renewal Form
It is important to renew your PSIRA application once it becomes invalid. Fortunately, this can be done online. You need to get a template and fill it in progressively. Note that preparing the legal documents can be a time-consuming process, and it may take a toll on you because it is also a very costly process. Fortunately, the online platform allows you to spend less than five minutes, and you will be done processing the renewal. For this to happen, proceed as follows:
- Choose the template in the library.
- Complete all necessary information in the necessary blank areas. Utilize the easy-to-use drag & drop interface, which allows you to add or move areas.
- Confirm to see that everything is filled out appropriately. Make sure there are no typos or absent blocks.
- Use an electronic signature on the PDF page.
- Once done, click to accept and save all the changes made.
- Proceed to download the complete record, or you can choose to have it printed out (Make sure it is in PDF version).
- Send instantly to the relevant recipient.
Remember that to renew your PSIRA online; you have to enter your identification and contact details for verification. You need to use a checkmark to track the changes you make. It is important to double-check every detail keyed in to ensure you miss nothing and that you are accurate. You must sign the renewal form, so a signature tool is necessary if the renewal happens online. It is important to legitimize the process.
Note that this process will cost you some cash. Expect to pay R60.00 to renew your P.S.I.R.A. card. Once you have complied with all the expected requirements and paid the necessary charges, you will have to wait for P.S.I.R.A.’s approval. This will take at least 12 days, excluding weekends and holidays.
To renew your PSIRA card, you need to supply several documents just like you did during your first application. A duly completed renewal form, a certified copy of your identity document, a document showing that you have paid the expected fees are needed before you can proceed with the renewal process. Your annual fees have to be up to date for you to be allowed to renew.
To get PSIRA, you will also need to supply two-color I.D. photos, your proof of residence, and a set of fingers prints which will be taken officially. You also have to pay a registration fee of R210.
Collecting the PSIRA Document
To collect your PSIRA document, visit the nearest PSIRA branch. However, you should not go to the head office even if it is nearest to you. When picking your document, ensure to bring your I.D. book if you are collecting the PSIRA document for the first time. The relevant officers must confirm that you are the authorized individual.
Before picking your PSIRA document, you may want to know if it is ready for collection. This will spare you the headache of making a fruitless trip. To confirm, you can contact PSIRA’s customer care line on 086 133 3850 together with your I.D. number. This helps to check the status of your application. Alternatively, you can visit the official website. Once here, go to the far right on the site’s home screen and the online verification part. Proceed to enter your id number, click I’m human, then click submit. You will get the answer you need and know whether it is time to pick the document or not.
Note that you are the only person who can pick up the certificate. No one else can collect it on your behalf, and it cannot be posted. The system requires that you confirm with your fingerprint for the certificate to be printed. This only means that you must be available in person to collect the certificate.
In the same manner, when the PSIRA certificate is an individual one, you also have to come in person to renew it. The same issue arises since the system is made so that your fingerprints must be used to confirm. However, there is an exception for employed individuals. An employer can renew the certificate in place of their employee but only with their consent. Fortunately, you do not have to worry about renewal until after 24 months, when the individual certificate expires after the first application.
Note that business certificates take a shorter period, expiring after 12 months. To renew the business certificate, you need to have a business application letter. It should be printed on the business letterhead. You also need to pay the annual fees and settle any outstanding debts. Other secondary requirements that will be checked include your business tax clearance and registration with C.I.O.D if the business has employees working for them.
Suppose you intend to invest in a security business. In that case, you must familiarize yourself with P.S.I.R.A. Note that you will not be allowed to run your private security firm in South Africa without the necessary documentation. Fortunately, all you need to do is register with the relevant regulating body. What’s more, the registration process is somewhat straightforward for both individuals and businesses. Just know what you must submit and how best to fill the relevant forms. You can apply online if this is more convenient for you.