Security firms to be nationalised in South Africa

The bill to expropriate at least 51 % of ownership of foreign-owned security service providers in South Africa was pushed through by the ANC majority of the Portfolio Committee on Police.

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Despite letters from various international embassies condemning the expropriation clause and vehement opposition by the DA, all issues of concern were brushed aside and the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment (PSIRA) Bill was adopted.

The reintroduction of this xenophobic clause – at a time when our rand is in a sustained weakness against major global currencies and when analysts are stating that ours is one of the hardest hit currencies in the emerging market, will have catastrophic consequences for our economy and investor confidence.

Ultimately, jobs will be lost and South Africa’s unemployment rate will soar.

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This limiting of foreign ownership sends negative signals to other foreign investors. For example, most security technology, from alarm systems to CCTV systems are manufactured and distributed by international companies.

ADT, Chubb and G4 Security are big private security companies that are foreign owned and are operational in South Africa.

This Bill is a disaster of national and international proportions. It will deter foreign investment, decrease job opportunities, and increase the capacity for corruption as companies are forced to hand over majority shareholdings of both one man and multi-national companies alike.