Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: In addition to its domestic security needs, the country plays a role in regional security.

South Africa’s security market is similar to that seen in other developed countries. As the headquarters location for a large number of continental security firms, and as the leading economy accounting for 24% of Africa’s GDP and 33% of that of sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa holds a leadership role on the continent with regard to civil security, conflict prevention and resolution, post-conflict reconstruction and security sector innovation. South Africa’s national security relies on the advancement of its sovereignty, democracy, national values and freedoms, and political and economic independence. Its national security has both a domestic and a regional dimension.

The private security subsector is said to be one of the largest employers in the country and is one of the fastest-growing local industries. The number of actively registered security officers has grown by an average of 8.9% per year since 2011, reaching a total of 487,058 in 2014. Industry representatives estimate that the South African private security industry is currently worth between 40 billion and 45 billion rand (approximately $3.2 billion).

The subsector includes all businesses and individuals involved in the guarding or protecting of fixed property, premises, goods, persons or employees, including monitoring and responding to alarms at premises that are guarded by persons or by electronic means, and spans a wide range of security service business categories. The subsector’s major customers tend to fall into the following groups: owners of large spaces (such as government buildings, airports and universities); privately owned public spaces such as shopping malls; retail and commercial businesses; corporations; banks and individual homeowners. The subsector is affected by the same change drivers that influence the broader safety and security sector. For example, an increase in crime rates and the changing nature of crime directly affect the demand for private security services and the type of private security services required by clients.

Security businesses registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) range from large extensions of multinational companies to large, midsize and very small locally owned companies, and also include individuals such as locksmiths and security consultants. Of the PSIRA-registered security businesses, most provide guard or patrolling services, entertainment or venue control, bodyguarding, electronic monitoring, special events control, security training, or rendering of security services and personnel. According to PSIRA data, more than one-third of security service providers are based in Gauteng province, with KwaZulu-Natal having the second-largest number of service providers.

South Africa is seeing an increase in the number of startups entering the security market. IT is being used to provide security solutions for home and business users. Smarter video surveillance, better alarm systems and other new products are now available. These systems can be used in tandem with existing security services from established firms, which means customers—particularly businesses—can protect their assets better without having to invest in overly complicated solutions.

The South African national budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year allocated 198.7 billion rand (approximately $15 billion) to defense and public safety to ensure South Africa’s territorial sovereignty is maintained and to keep South Africans safe. This allocation is a constitutionally set imperative for both the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the police service. In South Africa, the 1996 Constitution assigns SANDF responsibility for the protection and defense of the Republic and its sovereignty, freedoms, territorial integrity, national interests people, and values. Furthermore, certain defense functions are carried forward from the 1993 interim Constitution. These include service in compliance with the international obligations of the Republic; the preservation of life, health and property; the provision or maintenance of essential services; upholding of law and order in support of the police service; and support of any department of state for the purpose of socioeconomic development.  SANDF is active and has been deployed in recent years for counter-piracy in the Southern African Development Community  maritime area, peace missions across the African continent, safeguarding borders and a range of other domestic security duties.

Wisconsin companies that supply civil or defense security requirements may find opportunities in this market.