'Private security bill changes irrational'

A lawyer representing security firms says he's prepared to fight the proposed changes in court.

A lawyer representing security firms says he's prepared to fight the proposed changes in court. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A lawyer representing several security companies says proposed changes to the legislation governing the private security industry are irrational.

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

The bill was approved by Parliament's police portfolio committee this week.

But lawyer Martin Hood is prepared to fight it out in court.

"We, as an industry, have been asking since May 2012 to be properly consulted and be given the underlying reasons as to why this legislation is necessary. We've just been told it's because the security institutes a threat to national security but there's no substance."

On Wednesday 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."