Pretoria: South Africa has the largest private security industry in the world; as a result, the regulation of the industry needs to be strengthened, says Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
“Currently, there are more than 445 000 registered private security guards compared to 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,” Minister Mthethwa said on Tuesday.
He was speaking during a debate of the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill.
The bill aims to regulate the financial accountability and foreign ownership of such companies.
However, many are concerned about the issue of ownership. The amendment states that private security companies should have 51% South African ownership.
Minister Mthethwa said this was necessary because the line between private security companies (PSCs) and private military companies (PMCs) was increasingly becoming blurred.
He said some private security companies were increasingly used in the field of intelligence, while some did not have a good record when it comes 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 will lead to job losses, Minister Mthethwa said this argument has 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.
“There is no evidence that because there would be 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.”
Source: South African Official News