RealNews

Plenty of Work in Security-mad South Africa

Pride doesn’t last long on Jan Boshoff’s training ground, as 25 young men and women find out the hard way, their faces flat in the dust after another punishing set of push-ups. He shouts like a parade-ground sergeant-major, startling the wits out of the rows of frightened initiates. But despite his military manner, this is no army boot camp — the trainees under his instruction are paying to be bawled at. They want to be security guards, a rapidly expanding line of work in South Africa, which has one of the world’s largest private security industries, and where private police outnumber regular law enforcement officers by about two to one. “Become a security guard in one week,” reads a sign painted on the door of Boshoff’s Anti-Crime Force school building in flat, dusty Brakpan, a run-down town about 40 km (25 miles) from the centre of Johannesburg. That sounds a good proposition to many of the country’s poor, unemployed youth. Full Story

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