Remarks by the Deputy Minister of Police Maggie Sotyu: IFSEC Homeland Security and Safety Conference and Exhibition
20 Jun 2012Programme Director,
Organisers of this event, the UBM Montgomery Africa,
PSIRA CEO, Mr Manabela Chauke,
All security stakeholders present,
Let me say from the onset that activities of this nature give us as a country, and certainly as Government of South Africa, hope. This type of ensemble, that has managed to pull together security agencies, ensures that as a country, we are continuously equipped with the best equipment in terms of security technology.
Your presence is surely making South Africa to stay competitive and up to date with the latest industry innovations and developments.
Therefore, I warmly welcome you all to the Homeland Security and Safety Conference 2012. Some of you come from beyond our borders, so I am sure even the organisers of this event are as humbled by your positive and overwhelming response to the conference invitation.
I am also thankful for the organisers for giving me the opportunity to speak at this opening session, for it also allows me on behalf of our Government, to provide a factual overview on Government’s aspirations and expectations on private security industry.
As Government, we readily acknowledge that this conference has already established itself as a key event at which most influential players in the security industry in South Africa and the neighbouring states can come together to showcase new technology in the quest to preventing unlawful or dangerous goods from entering South Africa.
We are thus always encouraged when we see the initiatives and technology that the IFSEC South Africa is pioneering to ensure that as a country we are able to deal with all kind of national disasters that may occur in our shores. As Government, we support all initiatives that seek to ensure the security of our country and our continent.
We assure the progressive security industry agencies that, all your pioneering efforts are being recognised. Notwithstanding, as Government we will always ensure that all innovations are being complemented or are compatible with our legislative expectations.
In this instance, I want to inform you that since the promulgation of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act in 2001, the Government together with the South African civil society has been concerned with the regulation of the industry.
We were particularly stressing on whether there was effective regulation given the challenges of growth and funding of the regulation which is wholly derived from the contributions of the private security industry.
Blatant challenges also included the lack of adequate resources which compromised effective regulations; the threat to increased national security posed by the participation of unaccounted foreign nationals, lack of proper accountability of fire-arms in the possession of the private security industry, security services rendered outside the Republic of South Africa by South African companies, in particular services rendered in politically unstable countries, and criminality within the Private Security Industry.
With the above-mentioned serious challenges, it was inevitable that calls would be made for the tightening of the South African Regulatory framework for the Private Security Industry. The call to review the Act was indeed affirmed by the government strategic plan to build a Developmental State in order to ensure that all citizens feel and are safe.
It is against this background that as Government, we have recently approved the Private Security Amendment Bill. This Bill seeks mainly to ensure that the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) becomes a full state owned entity in terms of control and funding.
This is fundamental, because PSIRA is a body with the primary objective of regulating the private security industry; exercising effective control over the practice of the occupation of a security service provider in the public and national interest and in the interest of the private security industry itself.
Yes, we have heard several misconceptions about the tabling of this Bill. For instance, the media wrongly asserts that the Bill is meant to chase investors away, because the Bill is limiting the participation of foreign nationals in the private security industry.
Indeed, Clause 9 of the Bill does seek to provide a requirement that at least 51% of the security business ownership and control must be by the South African citizens. This means we are ensuring the national interest of security is catered for.
Every responsible Government would surely want to see its country being self-sufficient. And as a country, we surely do not want to see a situation where security companies become parallel forces to our own South African Police Service.
Unapologetically, as Government we would want to be in total control on what is happening in the country we govern. By this Bill, we want to make sure that our safety and security is not run by two different sets of prescripts that are accountable to two different sources.
But, what the media does not highlight is the Bill’s strong call to promote crime prevention partnerships between the Private Security Industry and organisations. Clause 2 of the Bill is very clear on this objective. The Bill encourages that the industry communicate with Government through the institutional partnership facilitated by PSIRA.
The Bill calls for working together efficiently to achieve sustainable excellence in technology and strategy. We believe that the Amendment Bill is drafted in the good spirit of ensuring that as the government we also play our role of protecting South Africa while we also look at our investors. For instance, we have still allowed that equipment manufactured in other countries, be showcased in the exhibitions here!
As Government, we thus hope that platforms such as these will help PSIRA in promoting the organisational, supervisory and regulatory capabilities for a well regulated private security industry. The partnership that we are calling for is the one that joins efforts under the auspices of the strategic agenda of South Africa, enhances cooperation, exchanges experiences, and sharing of good practices.
In conclusion Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish you all the best as you begin to engage on new ways of improving security in our respective countries.
And on behalf of the South African Government as led by His Excellency, Jacob Zuma, I wish to express my sincerest appreciation to you all representatives for participating in this forum, for cooperating to achieve desired goals of promoting and developing an efficient system of private security companies operating in South Africa.
Enjoy your participation and have a wonderful day.
I thank you all.
Issued by: South African Police Service
20 Jun 2012
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