TOUGH TIMES

Jobs at stake as private security firms threaten to close - lobby

A study commissioned last year by the lobby shows that Kenyans can afford to pay an average of Sh18,000 for security

In Summary
  • Apart from increased wage bill, private firms are forced to pay at least 10 licences every year worth over Sh1.8 million on top of taxes
  • Matiangi: firms which will have not been vetted by March 31 will risk losing licences.
Security Guards during a past event in Nairobi. /FILE
Security Guards during a past event in Nairobi. /FILE

Tough compliance hurdles and high tax regime amid low business activities could force private securities firms  in Kenya out of the trade, according to heir lobby.

The Private Security Industry Association (PSIA) said this is likely to render most of the 500,000 people directly employed in the sector jobless as the cost of doing business skyrockets.

''For some months now, the private security industry has been under threat of mass closure following new regulations passed in July last year. Security will be a privilege to most Kenyans as client service charges are likely to spike in order to comply with the new regulations,'' the lobby said in a statement.

 
 
 

A study commissioned last year by the lobby shows that Kenyans can afford to pay an average of Sh18,000 monthly for security.

However, with the new regulations that advocate for calibration of equipment and regular training for staff, firms will be now forced to hike monthly fees to break even.

In order to facilitate a pay hike for guards in the wake of high operational costs, PSIA recommended that guards be categorized into four sections: A, B, C, and D. 

Group A to comprise guards in high profile areas such as malls, government parastatals, hospitals, high-income residential and high-risk events with each to be paid a net pay of Sh60,000. To effect this, they proposed that security firms charge clients at least  Sh75,000 per guard.

Guards in Group B which includes those manning high schools, middle income homes, commercial buildings and industries are supposed to be paid a minimum of Sh50,000, a move that will see security firms hike service charge fee to at least Sh60,000 per month.

Those in Group C and D to be paid Sh29,000 and Sh20,000 per month,a move that will force their employers to charge clients Sh35,000 and Sh26,0000 respectively to stay afloat.

''The average amount a client in Kenya is likely to pay for security is Sh18,000, way below a service charge fee for Group D guards and more than four times lower than Sh75,000 needed for a Group A guard per month,'' PSIA said.

 
 
 

Apart from the increased wage bill, private firms are forced to pay at least 10 licenses every year worth over Sh1.8 million on top of taxes.

Firms are also expected to cater to guards training as per part IV section 19 of new PSRA Regulations, upgrade security equipment, buy new uniforms for employees among other costs.

Although a parliamentary committee annulled regulations that required all service providers to be inspected, vetted and licensed by the Private Security Regulatory Authority, Ministry of Interior gazetted those regulations, insisting that firms that will have not been vetted by March 31 will risk losing licenses.

"Section 28 of the Private Security Regulations Act requires that no person shall engage in the provision of private security services or offer private security services unless that person is licensed by the Private Security Regulatory Authority," Interior CS Fred Matiangi said last month.