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Private security bill changes adopted

The proposed changes were adopted by Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police.

FILE: The proposed changes were adopted by Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Proposed changes to legislation regulating the multi-billion rand private security industry have been adopted by Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police.

The Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill has been heavily criticised for including a controversial clause which forces foreign companies to sell at least 51 percent of their shares to South Africans.

The provisions caused uproar when first introduced.

But the Democratic Alliance's Dianne Kohler Barnard says the clause made it back onto the final draft, which was approved by the committee on Tuesday.

"If you think of ADT, that company was actually bought out by an international firm quite recently. They are now sitting with a company they are going to be forced to lose control of when this bill goes through."

At the same time, a lawyer representing several private security companies says there is no substance to the police ministry's claim that foreign-owned security firms pose a threat to national security.

Lawyer Martin Hood says the bill is irrational.

"We are of the opinion that the legislation is not only irrational, but it constitutes an arbitrarily deprivation of property which contravenes Section 25 of our Constitution."

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