The strongest Link

June 30, 2013

 Security Focus

From the President’s Desk
The strongest link
As early as 1786, Thomas Reid wrote, ‘In every chain of reasoning, the evidence of the last conclusion can be no greater than that of the weakest link of the chain, whatever may be the strength of the rest.’
This aphorism is especially true in the South African private security industry. We are only as strong as our weakest link; our power comes from standing together.  We do not only give our members a collective voice—but also access to a strategic defence when our industry is under threat. When PSIRA as regulator wanted to increase fees, the industry stood up against this decision. And while this saga now continues, we still will not give-up without a fight.
This is a powerful example of creating a strong chain of solidarity. If we had not been a cohesive, connected and authoritative industry, the outcome may have been woefully different. If we had not stood together, we would have probably been bulldozed into accepting PSIRA’s punitive policies outright—and sown greater dissension in the ranks, to quote another well-worn adage.
Each security company is responsible for its own brand reputation and exercises its own judgements at an operational level—but being part of SASA reminds each of us that we are nonetheless part of something bigger.  We all take pride in the private security industry by abiding to the rules of best practise. Moreover, we gather confidence from knowing that we are not isolated when the industry comes under threat.
Furthermore, we are all sensitive to the needs of our staff, our clients and our shareholders—we are protective of all these stakeholders, as they make us a successful and admired brand in the long term.
To date, the case against PSIRA’s proposed increased fees is at a stalemate. While the High Court rejected the case, advocates on the case have strong grounds for leave to appeal as a matter of urgency. SASA members are represented through the Security Industry Alliance; SIA board members have held strategic meetings with its legal counsel.
While the battle goes on, SASA members can rest assured that the status quo remains in effect. This means that we will continue to pay old fees; the interdict against PSIRA issued on 8 March 2012 will remain in effect until the appeal case has been finalised and the regulator cannot take punitive action against members.
This is what happens when we work as a strong chain, we can stop negative changes in policy or legislation—just as we can facilitate positive and proactive change.  Sadly, not all security players believe in teamwork: they push against or subvert it for their own agenda, thus causing confusion. This makes the industry, as a whole, more vulnerable—leaving the industry open for attacks.
SASA promotes a shared vision. We promote a strong and united stance as an industry body. As such, we believe that awareness of our responsibilities is what creates a strong value system, a system that is stable and consistent within the public eye and the industry itself.  While many stakeholders may be questioning the value of associations and membership fees in these tough economic times, it is important to remember that we are the strongest link in a crisis. Together we can work strategically; we can be of great benefit to every single member. Let us stand together.
Keep safe
Jenny Reid
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