Proper Exercising of Legal Prerogative ?

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By Bean du Plessis – February 2020

The collective agreement for the National Bargaining Council for the Private Security Sector (NBCPSS) was published on the 20th day of February 2020 and will come into operation on Monday the 2nd day of March 2020.  


We will investigate and publish our opinions in respect thereof during the course of the next few weeks. Take notice that this article is not intended as legal advice but merely as the author’s opinion.


During the 2014 wage negotiations a task team was put together, to work with the Department of Labour, to establish a bargaining council for the security industry. The Task force apparently comprised of five labour representatives and five employer representatives. [1]


The South African National Security Employers’ Association (SANSEA), The Security Association of South Africa (SASA) and the Chamber of South African Private Security (COSAPS) participated in this process.[2]


These efforts culminated in a formal application for registration to the Registrar of Labour Relations.


On 13 APRIL 2017 the Registrar of Labour Relations informed all interested parties that an application of the registration of a bargaining council was received[3]. The notice stated that the application was supported by the following participants :–                                                 

  • 132 of 6000 employers falling within the scope of the Council and who belong to the employers’ organisations which, are party to the Council:

  • 92 612 of 211 000 employees falling within the scope of the Council and who belong to the trade unions  which, are party to the Council: and                                                                         

In terms of the above notice interested parties were afforded 30 days to object to the registration, which objections could have been based on the following grounds :-

  • the applicant has not complied with the provisions of section 29 of the Act, read with the changes required by the context;
  • the sector and area in respect of which the application is made is not appropriate; and
  •  the applicant is not sufficiently representative in the sector and area in respect of which the application is made.

It is not known whether any objections were received.

On the 22nd day of June 2018 the Registrar of Labour Relations, Mr Lehlohonolo Daniel Molefe, give notice that the National Bargaining Council for the Private Security Sector was registered in terms of section 29 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995[4].


On 9 October 2019 members of the public were invited to make representations in response to the National Bargaining Council for the Private Security Sector’s application for extension to non parties regarding its Council Levies Collective Agreement[5]. This application, in its amended form, was submitted to the Department of Labour on 7 August 2019 and afforded members of the public 21 days from publication to submit their representations.


The representatives of Labour as well as employers concluded a main collective agreement on the 10th day of December 2019.[6] Employers were represented by the Security Association of South Africa (SASA) and The South African National Security Employers Association (SANSEA), whilst labour was represented by a multitude of trade unions. We could not establish whether the employers’ representatives acted on behalf of any proxies from other employers organizations.


Rumours[7] that, for instance, the Consolidated Employers Organizations were on the verge of joining the bargaining council, were, either not true or they appear to have been unsuccessful in their efforts.


The NBCPSS board currently consists of 7 representatives from SASA, 5 from SANSEA and 12 from the 22 participating trade unions. The composition of the board makes it abundantly clear that these two organizations represent all participating employers within the security sector, which necessitates investigation into the proper representation of employers within the sector.


SANSEA proudly claims that it “is the only recognised body representing the employers in the guarding industry” and that “All the authorities recognise it as the sole spokesman for guarding employers”[8] SASA, in turn, claims that it is the “the largest employers association in the security sector”[9]. Interestingly both these organizations are said to be members of the Security Industry Alliance.[10]


During the 2015/2016 term PSIRA confirmed[11] that the number of registered :-

  • Security Officers totalled 488 666; and
  • Security Businesses totalled 8 692.


The stated statistics were roughly confirmed by the Labour Research Service[12]


The exact number of members of these employers organizations could not be established, save for the information they, as co-applicants for registration, provided, viz 132 employers[13] from possible 8692 registered security businesses.[14]


At first glance it would appear that the employers may not be adequately represented and further investigations should be conducted into whether any objections were filed, alternatively whether the registrar properly applied his mind (in the legal sense), as required by Section 29(11), especially subsections b(iii) and b(iv).


[1] https://www.satawu.org.za/2018/06/22/satawu-welcomes-registration-of-private-security-bargaining-council/

[2] https://www.satawu.org.za/2018/06/22/satawu-welcomes-registration-of-private-security-bargaining-council/

[3] GOVERNMENT GAZETTE No. 40785

[4] Government Gazette No. 41754 (6 July 2018

[5] No. 42753 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 9 OCTOBER 2019

[6] Vide the collective agreement.

[7] https://ceosa.org.za/the-establishment-of-the-national-bargaining-council-for-the-private-security-sector/

[8] https://www.sansea.co.za/

[9] https://www.sasecurity.co.za/

[10] http://www.securitysa.com/news.aspx?pklnewsid=35415

[11] https://nationalgovernment.co.za/entity_annual/1034/2016-private-security-industry-regulatory-authority-(psira)-annual-report.pdf

[12] http://www.ccma.org.za/Media/Presentations/token/download/ItemId/85

[13] [13] GOVERNMENT GAZETTE No. 40785

[14] https://nationalgovernment.co.za/entity_annual/1034/2016-private-security-industry-regulatory-authority-(psira)-annual-report.pdf