Red Ants are back in business, but with a less painful bite

08 July 2019 - 12:26 By PENWELL DLAMINI
Members of eviction services company Red Ants.
Members of eviction services company Red Ants.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

The notorious eviction services company Red Ants has been given permission to operate by the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (Psira), under strict conditions.

Last week, Psira announced that Red Ants' licence was suspended following complaints about the company's conduct. Red Ants lodged an appeal following the suspension, Psira said in a statement at the weekend.

The appeal will be adjudicated by the Psira appeals committee, appointed by police minister Bheki Cele. Psira said it received an application by Red Ants, in terms of Section 26(3) of the PSIR Act 56 of 2001, to operate while suspended, pending the finalisation of the appeal.

“The authority has granted the Red Ant Security, Relocation and Eviction Services (Pty) Ltd a conditional permission to trade whilst suspended,” Psira said.

The conditional permission means, unless exceptional circumstances exist, Red Ants may render any other service except demolitions and eviction services pending the finalisation of the appeal process.

When Red Ants' licence was suspended, various organisations were elated, including the EFF in Gauteng, which described the company's eviction methods as “brutal and evil”. Human rights organisation Right2Know also welcomed the suspension and demanded that Red Ants employees who were involved in violent acts be criminally charged.