BARRICADED IN THE SUBURBS: Private security via road closures

  • Boyane Tshehla Institute for Security Studies
Keywords: private security, South Africa, security


One of the international debates that occupy academics, policy makers and civil society at large is, undoubtedly, the pluralisation and/or privatisation of security and policing. At the centre of this debate is the inability of states to serve the security needs of their citizens. Perhaps it is just a realisation that, despite perceptions to the contrary, the state has historically never been able to provide adequate security, and that the current inability is by no means unique to modern society. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that the state has become just one of the providers of safety and security – with private security (in its various incarnations) – increasingly assuming more of a role in the provision of security than the state. The role of the state is being toned down from that of the primary provider of safety and security, as anticipated, to that of a ‘regulatory’ organ. The role of the state has been observed as that of steering the boat rather than rowing it.

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