Transnet security officers to receive more powers to protect infrastructure

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Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola has granted approval for Transnet security officers to get peace officer status.

This will see Transnet’s security personnel given additional powers to make arrests and assist the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) with prosecutions. The new status will also enable them to conduct searches on premises, individuals and complete dockets.

Transnet in the past few years has seen a sharp increase in cable theft, resulting in revenue losses and repair costs amounting to billions of rands. The new powers given to its security personnel will help protect Transnet’s infrastructure and curtail cable theft.

The railway company’s financials published in July revealed that more than 1 500km of cable have been stolen in the last five years.

The company plans to increase its expenditure budget on security gradually from 4 percent to 5 percent then eventually to R4 billion.

Transnet’s security officers will undertake training in order to comply with the requirements from the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority.

Upon completion of their training, the officers will receive a Certificate of Competency from the National Police Commissioner and receive South African Police Service appointment letters along with Transnet appointment identity cards.

Transnet, in a statement, has welcomed the decision by Minister Lamola.