President Zuma mum over future of private security bill in SA

South African President Jacob Zuma will not say if he will sign the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill or send it back to Parliament.  Mr Zuma addressed reporters in Cape Town after a meeting with the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission Council, at which he was also asked about the Private Security Industry Amendment Bill and progress in appointing a new National Planning Commission. On the Private Security Industry Amendment Bill, Mr Zuma spoke on the importance of striking a balance between creating a proper regulatory environment for companies and protecting the interests of national security. The growth of foreign security companies in SA had created a “private force”.

Prominent companies in private security industry such as ADT and G4S have rejected a clause in the bill stipulating that all private security companies be locally owned by majority. They have called for Mr Zuma to refer the bill back to Parliament. It has been awaiting his signature for over a year. Mr Zuma said the growth of the private security industry in SA needed to be handled delicately and that all views needed to be considered before he signed it into law or referred it back to Parliament. “That bill is dealing with a very complex issue of security in the country. People look at it in different angles but the reality is that security companies have grown. It means you have very strong armed people,” Mr Zuma said.