Security industry responds to new Regulatory Bill

November 2001 News & Events

Security companies in South Africa and abroad have expressed strong reservations about certain clauses in the draft Security Industry Regulation Bill which, depending on interpretation, could result in the total loss of foreign investment in the South African security industry.

They say the clauses, depending on interpretation, could irreparably damage government's commitment to desperately needed foreign investment, create the prospect of massive job losses, and have a devastating effect on South Africa's credibility abroad.

John Sleep, speaking on behalf of the Security Services Employer Organisation, said that generally speaking the Bill has been welcomed by responsible members of the industry who believe tougher regulatory laws are overdue.

"However, the clauses relating to foreign involvement and control, if they are interpreted to include foreign equity, are another matter altogether. How can this possibly be introduced when one of the economic priorities of the government is to attract foreign investment?

"The reality of the matter is that close to R3 bn has flowed into the country recently through foreign investment in the industry.

"This has changed the face of the industry, stimulating employment, allowing for the introduction of world class technology and security methods, and in many instances providing us with a springboard into the global market.

He said the reasons provided by the National Assembly's Safety and Security Committee chairman, Mululeki George, were weak at best. "Some of the recent investors in the South African security industry are amongst the biggest and most reputable companies in the industry worldwide. And all of these investments were approved by the Competition Commission of South Africa which is a legal government entity."

He said the industry would liaise both at home and abroad to determine its options,and was working towards a coordinated plan of action aimed at protecting its interests.

For further details contact Gary Dixon on 083 263 6214.

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