The department of roads and public works has set aside R40-million to train 4000 young people in the province as qualified security guards.
This will see each beneficiary receiving R10 000 worth of training over three years.
MEC Thandiswa Marawu said after they had been trained they would be able to start their own security companies, which would work with the provincial government.
Marawu said government paid more than R300-million a year to private companies to secure health department buildings across the province.
“The department of roads and public works and the department of health are the main departments that use the private security and there is no value for money as we are experiencing continuous losses of state assets at premises guarded by these companies,” said Marawu.
Currently, the Eastern Cape provincial government uses a combination of in-house and private security officers to safeguard its buildings.
“The department is aware of the exploitation, abuse and ill-treatment of security guards by security bosses who are only interested in making huge profits,” said Marawu.
The department said it would not completely discontinue using private security guards but said it would cut use down by half.
The department spent more than R120-million of its annual budget on security.
“We are looking at piloting the project at the end of the year. We have already advised departments not to take long-term contracts with security companies,” said Marawu.
The department said the project was an alternative to the calls for it to “in-source” the guarding of state assets.
“At this stage we have assessed and have seen that in-sourcing guarding services would be involved.
“The amounts of leave, the overtime and the administration of the labour practices would consume the department.
“Because of the calls for the department to in-source the security services, we feel this is a reasonable compromise,” said Marawu.
The department said South Africa had the largest private security industry in the world, with nearly 9411 businesses registered as security service providers in the country.
“The Eastern Cape alone has about 52000 security guards registered,” said Marawu. — firstname.lastname@example.org