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Regulations In South African Private Security Industry Needs Tightening, Says Minister
"Currently, there are more than 445,000 registered private security guards compared with just over 270,000 armed statutory forces, namely the South African Police Service (SAPS) and South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
The number of private security almost doubles that of our combined statutory forces," he said Tuesday during a debate of the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill in Parliament here.
The Bill aims to regulate the financial accountability and foreign ownership of such companies. However, many are concerned about the issue of ownership and the amendment states that private security companies should have at least 51 per cent South African ownership.
Mthethwa said this was necessary because the line between private security companies (PSCs) and private military companies (PMCs) was increasingly becoming blurred. Some private security companies were increasingly used in the field of intelligence, while some did not have a good record when it came to human rights violations, according to international research.
"As a developmental state, it will be irresponsible of us not to take seriously the above concerns and to ensure that our domestic legislation protects both our national and security interests."
Addressing the issue that the introduction of the Bill would lead to job losses, Mthethwa said this argument had no basis.
"The provision of security service depends on supply and demand like any commodity in the market place. Change of ownership will not change demand," he added.
"There is no evidence that because there would be a change in the ownership, people will simply disinvest. Indications are that when the time comes, they will sell the relevant shares to comply with the law, not close down as we are led to believe."
-- BERNAMA-NNN-SA NEWS
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