Tag Archive | security

Private Security Industry Bill comes closer

Motive for Private Security Bill unclear…..

adt securityAs of this date, the Private Security Industry Bill still remains for signature by President Zuma passing it into law, having had the contentious clause that South Africans must own at least 49% of shareholding of any security companies, as proscribed in the original Bill passed by Parliament, increased to 51%.

However, from statements made by senior officials in the department of police and the minister himself it seems quite possible that government will push the law through despite the stated objections of security  industry associations and the possibility of the industry taking government to court on the matter.

The Bill introduced two years by minister Nathi Mathethwa, then a protégé of president Zuma but now reduced to the post of minister of arts and culture, posed the reasons for a controlling number of 51% being the result of the possibility of national security breaches by foreigners in South Africans affairs. This has never been defined.

Ek is die Suid-Afrikaanse

Such a matter was stated by the local security industry as being absurd since most South African management, local shareholders and certainly the majority of employees were South Africans anyway. In can only be assumed that the government thinks their are “plants” by foreign countries working in the industry, or alternatively, the reasons given by the state are a cover for some other motive, as of yet not clear.

Immediately the Bill was tabled, opposition members in Parliament pointed out that such a law would place SA not only in violation of international trade agreements but place the country in jeopardy of renewal of AGOA by the United States, of valuable export trading advantage to South Africa.

Particularly, South Africa is in danger of violating GATT agreements, but the minister of police has responded with the names of other countries discounting international agreements on the issue of local ownership control.

In a rush to close Parliament for the May elections last year, the Private Security Industry Bill, with other Bills, was hammered through Parliament using every possible ANC vote but, however with the 51% clause reduced to 49%.  This has now been reversed.

Trade and Industry unconcerned

Unless the Bill is returned to Parliament unsigned, a course, which would seemingly make the new police minister Nkosinathi Nhleko unhappy, and with minister of trade and industry (DTI), Rob Davies, appearing ambivalent on the whole issue, all would seem set for a suicidal dive into unknown international trading waters as far as obligations are concerned.

This is despite a trade delegation visit to the US on the subject. Recent statements by US congressmen and a joint letter addressed by them to SA on other possible violations of GATT by the DTI, particularly on poultry import issues threatening AGOA, are all being played down by cabinet ministers.

 American Chamber of Commerce in SA have pointed to the difficulty, not only with B-BBEE but with this proposal, the difficulty US/SA companies operating in South Africa have with their head offices in parting with ownership of their companies.

The police minister says that he “finds that South Africa will meet its trade obligations under GATT and the action will not threaten AGOA” – an unusual statement for a minister of police, whilst DTI itself, or the minister of trade and industry, still seem have their heads well below the water line.

Under the skin

Eventually, it will emerge what it that is so worrying to the department of police about companies like ADT, Tyco, Securitas, Chubb and the many Japanese, Korean and British companies involved in the manufacture and supply of security equipment….. all at the risk of disinvestment or, worse, maybe an imagined xenophobic wish for these countries not to employ ex-pats or immigrants from other parts of Africa. 

Other articles in this category or as background

No moves on new Private Security Industry law – ParlyReportSA

Private Security Industry Bill gets through Parliament – ParlyReportSA

DA’s Crucial Infrastructure Bill tabled on security – ParlyReportSA

Posted in Earlier Stories, Facebook and Twitter, Finance, economic, Labour, LinkedIn, Security,police,defence, Trade & Industry0 Comments

Procurement plans for prisons detailed by minister

Correctional services minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, addressing parliamentarians during debate on the prisons budget in the National Assembly, said that a decision was taken to cancel the public-private partnership procurement (PPP) currently enforceable on present work but this did not exclude work on building future new prisons.

“The cancellation of the current procurement process does not exclude the future building of additional correctional facilities. The building and maintenance of correctional facilities insofar as capital costs are concerned might still be best provided by third parties.”

In her address, the minister indicated that the department of correctional services is involved in a large prison building programme with a consequent need for specialised high-tech equipment available from limited sources and skilled technical applications.

She told MPs that such a decision could be taken only once the department knew the best size of future facilities in relation type of prisoner and location. She said, “It is our view that the issue of size for our centres should be based on requirements, as opposed to the initial ideas that that any new facilities should be 3 000 bed capacity across the board.”

The department had recently concluded a process of consultative engagements with the construction industry to discuss further plans with regard to infrastructure roll-out.

A number of facilities have been approved for construction this year, which include three prisons for 500 in Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Western Cape and much larger facility in KwaZulu-Natal.  The total under construction would be six by the end of the year. The plan was to finish twelve in the coming two to three years.

“We are also in the process for the procurement of a service provider for the upgrading, maintenance and management of the existing access control system. A contract had been awarded for installing security fences with CCTV cameras and detection systems at 27 correctional facilities”, the minister said.

The department was also evaluating the current technology security systems which included access control systems, surveillance systems, alarm systems, fencing systems but access control and fencing virtual private network that was run and controlled by external service providers had been taken over by the department.

She told parliamentarians that, “Body scanners are to be installed in 20 top prisons immediately with more to follow in the course of time.

“We are encouraged by the report that we are succeeding in the down management of escapes from a total of 106 in 2010/11 to 41 in 2011/12. We have also identified the number of facilities with a high risk of gang activities,” Minister Mapisa-Nqakula told the house.

 

Posted in Justice, constitutional, Public utilities, Trade & Industry, Uncategorized0 Comments


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