Cape Town - The SA Police Service (Saps) spent R161.5m on private security services in 2009/10, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa
said on Tuesday.
In a written reply to a question in the National Assembly, he said contracts with private security companies were for the provision of security services to perform guard duties at the various Saps premises.
Saps used private security companies for these duties because of the "many advantages", he said.
Among other things, a comparative analysis had shown it was more cost effective to outsource this type of service than to use trained police officials.
This made more trained police officials available to perform operational police duties.
The private security company was contractually bound to replace any employee absent for whatever reasons, such as sick leave or vacation leave.
Further, the administrative burden of arranging guard duties was no longer Saps' responsibility and all personnel matters had to be dealt with by the service provider.
The private security company could also be held responsible should any losses occur, Mthethwa said.
Contracts in this regard were awarded to 48 private security companies.