An appeal has gone out to motorists not to tip so-called “car guards” operating illegally in Kouga’s area of jurisdiction.
Kouga Social Services Portfolio Councillor Danny Benson said the municipality had already been able to reduce the number of illegal car guards in Jeffreys Bay through a programme launched last year by the municipality, South African Police Service (SAPS) and private security firms.
“Bright yellow caps have been given to those car guards legally permitted to work as parking attendants in public areas.
We would like to appeal to the public not to tip car guards who do not have these caps, as this will also help to minimise the number of people working illegally,” he said.
Benson explained that it was illegal for anyone to work as a car guard or parking attendant if they were not registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA).
“That is why we launched the programme, so as to train and register prospective car guards with PSIRA.
“At the time of the launch only four car guards complied with the requirements. Those who did not comply, were invited to sign up for the programme,” he said.
According to Benson, all prospective car guards first have to be screened for criminal records before they can be trained and registered.
“Almost 20 of the candidates have had to be removed from the programme to date. In some instances this was because they had criminal records.
Others had to be removed because they were inebriated or involved in other illegal activities while on duty,” he said.
“At present we have 16 prospective car guards who have been issued with caps and will be sent for training as soon as we receive confirmation that they do not have criminal records.”
Benson said the programme had been launched following complaints from residents and visitors about the high number of so-called car guards harassing them for money.
“There was also concern about the involvement of some illegal car guards in nefarious activities such as drug-dealing.
“Recently, we were actually able to assist the police in arresting two illegal car guards on drug-related charges thanks to the yellow-cap programme.
“We are, therefore, excited about the potential benefits of the programme, including the reduction of crime in general,” he concluded.