How much money security guards are paid in South Africa – and why the government is watching them


The Ministry of Employment and Labor will organize a seminar on the private security sector next week (June 26), as it has identified the sector as “high risk” with regard to compliance with labor laws. .

The department noted that the industry has experienced “unprecedented growth” in recent years due to high levels of crime. As a result, he said that prior to the seminar, he would also conduct a blitz of the area in Gauteng.

The department aims to address some of the following questions during the seminar:

  • Amendments to the law on the NMW and on the basic conditions of employment;
  • Industry Workers Compensation Act;
  • Unemployment Insurance Act as amended; Contingency fund;
  • General problems afflicting the industry.

How many security guards are there in South Africa?

The private security sector includes employers and associated employees for the purpose of guarding or protecting: fixed assets, premises, property, people or employees, including monitoring and responding to alarms on premises monitored by electronic means.

According to the latest 2018/2019 report by the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA), up to 2.36 million security officers are registered in South Africa – with 498,435 currently employed by just over 9,000 registered and active security companies.

This means that there are almost five security guards for every policeman in South Africa.

Most of these security companies and security guards operate and are employed in Gauteng, followed by KwaZulu-Natal (42% and 39% respectively) and the Western Cape.

How much they are paid

New prescribed minimum wages came into effect in South Africa in November 2018 – and included the private security sector. It also included the salaries of office staff, craftsmen, control center operators, drivers and general employees.

Private security guards in South Africa are paid according to the roles and responsibilities they have. The guards are therefore classified between A and E according to the type of service they perform.

Class Function
Class A The main function would normally be a site manager or a commander. Control and manage a number of functions. Management of security personnel. Perform risk assessments and site assessments daily. Basic investigative skills. Problem solving. Design of security solutions.
Category B The main function is access control in high risk areas where documentation and basic computer skills may be required. A site or team commander. Management of lower level security officers. Possible inspector carrying out site visits.
Category C The main function is the access control of a high risk area and the supervision of lower level security guards
Grade D and E The main function is access control or patrollers

The rate of pay differs across South Africa in the following brackets.

While the department lists the regions of Zone 1 and Zone 2 together, previous versions list the following zones as Zone 2: Bloemfontein, East London, Kimberley, Klerksdorp, Pietermaritzburg, Somerset West, Stellenbosch and Strand.

Zoned Blankets
Zones 1 & Zone 2 Alberton, Bellville, Benoni, Boksburg, Bloemfontein, Brakpan, Camperdown, Chatsworth, Durban, London is, Germiston, Goodwood, Inanda, Johannesburg, Kempton Park, Kimberley, Klerksdorp, Krugersdorp, Kuils river, Mitchell’s Plain, Nigel, Oberholzer, Paarl, Pietermaritzburg, Pinetown, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Randburg, Randfontein, Roodepoort, Sasolburg, Simon’s Town, Somerset West, springs, Stellenbosch, Strand, Cape Town, Uitenhage, Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging, Westonaria, Wonderboom and Wynberg
Zone 3 All other areas

The figures in brackets indicate by how much wages increased at the end of January according to Satawu:

Security agent Zones 1 & 2 Zone 3
Class A R5 558 R4 613 (R5 130)
Category B R4 981 R4 198 (R4 715)
Category C R4 377 R3 643 (R4 160)
Grade D and E R4 377 R3 643 (R4 160)

Read: Government upsets rules for security guards in South Africa – here’s what you need to know


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