Security Regulation Industry Bill: deliberations

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12 September 2001
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


12 September 2001

Chairperson: Mr M E George

Relevant documents:
Security Industry Regulation Bill [B12- 2001]
Proposed amendment by Department on the definition of private investigator (See Appendix 1)

The Committee passed a motion expressing their condolences to the American people due to the spate of attacks that have taken place on American soil. The Committee commenced deliberations on the Bill and in the process dealt with many of the same issues that had been raised in previous meetings. This was especially evident when the Committee once again could not resolve the definitions of "locksmith" and "polygraphist". It was also decided to delay dealing with Clauses 6 and 11 as political parties were deadlocked over issues pertaining to industry representation in the Authority and the power of the Minister over the Authority.

Adv A Gaum (NNP) proposed a motion that the Committee offers their condolences to the American public via the American Embassy as a consequence of the recent attacks on the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon etc.
The Committee agreed.

Security Industry Regulation Bill
The Committee continued with informal consideration of the Bill. The Chairperson, Mr George urged members to only raise issues on relevant matters.
Mr George stated that the Committee would revisit some of the issues that remained unresolved from their previous meeting. He also informed the Committee that the ANC study group would be proposing additional technical changes to the Bill.

Chapter 1: Definitions
Clause 1: Definitions
Mr O Kgauwe (ANC) verbally proposed a new definition to the Committee.

Adv P Swart (DP) agreed that the definition seemed reasonable but felt that time was needed to scrutinise it.

The rest of the Committee agreed to the definition even though the DA was given time to scrutinise it.

"private investigator"
The Committee had in the previous meeting agreed that the definition should be narrowed down. The Chair asked Adv Kok, chief legal adviser to the Department to presented his efforts to the Committee.
Adv Kok presented the amended definition to the Committee. For a look at the proposed definition, please refer to the attached document.

The Democratic Alliance found the definition acceptable.

The ANC however had concerns about the categories of persons that have been excluded in the definition such as lawyers and advocates.

It was evident that the Committee had divergent views on the definition. Adv Gaum proposed that the Committee members be given the opportunity to scrutinise the definition and at a later time decide on its acceptability.

The Committee agreed.

Clause 4:Functions of Authority
The Committee unanimously agreed to delete Clause 4(e). The clause had given the Authority too much discretionary power in the use of consultants. The idea was therefore to curb the use of consultants by the Authority.

Clause 6: Establishment and constitution of Council and appointment of councillors
The ANC proposed that Clause 6(b) be deleted. Their reasoning was that the director is an ordinary employee of the Council. His or her appointment should not be linked with the appointment of the councillors, as the Minister would appoint them.
The Chair stated that the issue is not whether the Minister appoints the director but rather that he should not be afforded the same status as councillors.
The Committee agreed to the removal of Clause 6(b) provided that its provisions be included elsewhere in the Bill.

The DA proposed that representatives from both the employers in the security industry and trade unions be included on the Council.

Mr M Booi (ANC) stated that the intention is for the Council to be totally independent from the industry. The industry had in the past had too much influence over the regulatory Authority.

Mr E Ferreira (IFP) disagreed totally with Mr Booi's and the ANC's sentiments.

Adv Swart felt it unfair to expect the industry to pay levies toward the regulatory Authority even though they would not be represented on it. This discrepancy is bound to cause problems if it is not resolved.

Mr Booi stated that Clause 13 does make provision for interaction between the Authority and the industry.

Adv Swart agreed that Clause 13 could potentially address the issue of representativity.

Rev Meshoe (ACDP) and Mr Ndlovu (IFP) agreed that the industry should be represented if they are expected to fund the Authority.

Mr Kgauwe proposed that the Committee come back to the issue later.

The Committee agreed.

Clause 7: Disqualification for appointment as councillor
Reference was made to Clause 7(2) that provides for a councillor to make a declaration to the Minister indicating his/her commitment to perform his/her duties to the best of his/her ability.
Mr Kgauwe (ANC) suggested that the clause be deleted. He stated that such a declaration would in any event be included in the councillor's employment contract.

The Committee agreed to its deletion, as it was superfluous.

Clause 8: Term of office, vacation of office and payment of remuneration and allowances
The clause at present provides for the Minister to appoint a councillor for a period not exceeding one year.
The ANC proposed that the period be extended to three years with the inclusion that the if the councillor performs his duties satisfactorily he may serve for two additional terms.

The ANC also proposed that the disqualification from office for a councillor who has missed consecutive meetings be extended from two years to three years as the latter is the norm.

The Committee agreed to both proposals.

Clause 10: Accountability of Council
The ANC proposed that a provision be included in the clause to make it obligatory for the Authority to report to Parliament at least once a year or whenever requested to do so.

The Committee agreed.

The Chair asked the Department to draft a provision to give effect to the proposal.

Clause 11: Ministerial supervision of the Authority
The DA felt that the power of the Minister in the clause is too far reaching.

The ANC felt it necessary for the Minister to have this power over the Authority given their problems in the past.

Adv Gaum agreed to submit a written submission to the Committee setting out exactly the views of the DA.

The Chair suggested that the Committee revisit the issue.

The Committee agreed.

Clause 12: Meetings and conflict of interests
Both the DA and the ANC suggested technical changes to the clause to which the Committee agreed.
The ANC proposed that a provision be included in the clause that would allow the chairperson of the Council to have veto powers.

The rest of the Committee disagreed.

The ANC further proposed that Clause 12(8)(b) be deleted.

Both the Department and the Safety and Security Secretariat had no objection to the deletion.

The Committee agreed to its deletion.

The meeting was adjourned.

Appendix 1
Department of Safety and Security Draft: 10 September 2001:

"private investigator" means, a person who, in a private capacity and for the benefit of another person, investigates the identity, actions, character, background or property of another person, without the consent of such a person, but does not include-
(a) auditors, accountants, attorneys, advocates or forensic scientists conducting investigations which fall within the normal and reasonable course and scope of their professional functions;
(b) internal investigators conducting normal and reasonable investigations into employee misconduct;
(c) internal investigators conducting investigations which a business, other than an investigating business, may undertake in the course and scope of its normal and reasonable endeavours to safeguard its security, strategic, operational or business interests;
An auditor, accountant, attorney, advocate, forensic scientist or an internal investigator is not excluded from the definition of a private investigator if he or she conducts any investigation involving-
(a) surveillance or counter-surveillance of persons;
(b) telephone tapping;
(c) electronic surveillance of any kind; or
(d) eavesdropping.


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