Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has cleared Transnet security officers to obtain peace officer status.

This will give Transnet security officers additional powers to make arrests and assist the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in prosecutions. The new status will also allow them to search premises, persons and full lists of cases.

Transnet has seen a dramatic increase in cable theft over the past few years, resulting in billions of rand in lost revenue and repair costs. The new powers given to security officers will help protect Transnet’s infrastructure and reduce cable theft.

The railway company’s financial data, released in July, showed that more than 1,500 km of cable had been stolen over the past five years.

The company plans to gradually increase its security spending from 4 percent to 5 percent and then to 4 billion rand.

Transnet security staff will be trained in accordance with the requirements of the Security Sector Education and Training Authority.

Upon completion of training, officers will receive a certificate of competency from the National Police Commissioner and receive letters of appointment to the South African Police Service along with their Transnet ID cards.

In a statement, Transnet welcomes Minister Lamola’s decision.

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