Car Guards Source: Google Images

Many have been questioning whether informal car guards should be held to the same laws as private security companies, as locals have complained that some overzealous guards can charge up to R50 to park on the side of a road.

Speaking on CapeTalk this morning, one reader called to say that they were charged R50 to park in Woodstock just to be able to visit the Old Biscuit Mill.

Mayco Member for Safety and Security JP Smith says it is not illegal for car guards to do this.

However, they do need to be registered to act as car guards, according to Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) senior manager Jan Sambo. Sambo said to CapeTalk, “In terms of the Private Security Act of 2001, it is very specific that any person who renders the security service of protecting property or person for reward must be registered with PSIRA, so car guards even getting a donation must be registered. Anyone not registered with PSIRA is contravening the PSIRA Act section 20 and that is misconduct and a criminal offence. So we do open a criminal case against them and go with the police and arrest them because they don’t have valid registration.”

Smith disagrees, saying this is an incorrect interpretation of the situation at hand. “PSIRA will now have to go and deal with every car guard in South Africa because local authorities do not have the power to enforce PSIRA’s legislation,” he says.