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SAFETY AND SECURITY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
19 September 2001
SECURITY INDUSTRY REGULATION BILL: INFORMAL CONSIDERATION
Security Industry Regulation Bill [B12 – 2001]
ANC proposed amendments
DA proposed amendments
Chairperson: Mr M E George
The Committee commenced with deliberations on the Bill. Many unresolved issues from previous meetings were discussed. The Committee reached closure on several issues even though there was not always agreement. Consensus was swiftly reached on many previously controversial definitions but on some issues parties were still adamant. This was especially evident on the controversial Clause 14(7) where parties agreed to disagree. The proposals as introduced by the DA on Clauses 6, 11 and 13 were rejected without much discussion. The DA was decidedly disappointed. The Committee delayed discussion on Clauses 20, 21 and 22 due to time constraints as they were expected to be highly controversial.
The Chairperson, Mr George stated that the Committee would deal with unresolved issues but would additionally only entertain discussion on those clauses that members have a problem with.
Security Industry Regulation Bill
Chapter 1: Definitions
The ANC presented proposals on the definitions of "locksmiths", "security equipment", and "private investigator" to the Committee.
For a look at the proposed definitions please refer to the attached document.
The Committee’s views on the definitions were as follows:
The IFP and the PAC agreed to it.
The DA stated that they do not wish the definition of a "locksmith" to be included in the Bill.
Adv Kok, Chief Legal Adviser to the Department stated that he was satisfied with its material content but that he could check if the wording was technically correct.
The parties were unanimous in their acceptance of the definition.
The Committee agreed to it.
Adv Kok once again expressed his satisfaction over its material content but would check on its technical wording.
The Committee continued with deliberations on issues that remain unresolved in other definitions.
The issue of whether a person who renders advice on the protecting or safeguarding of property is considered as rendering a "security service" once again came under discussion.
Mr Soman (Safety and Security Secretariat) reiterated what he had suggested in previous meetings. The giving of the advice should be qualified by the requirement that the person offering the advice receives remuneration in return for doing so.
Adv Kok stated that the qualification is already contained in the definition of "security service provider". It would be superfluous to include a qualification in the present definition. Adv Kok noted that it would not make technical sense to do so.
Adv P Swart (DP) was concerned about including persons who install, service and repair security equipment under the definition. He stated that the Bill would now cover persons who put up fences and bolt in wall safes.
Adv Swart asked if the provision was really that necessary.
Rev Meshoe (ACDP) shared his concern.
The Chair stated that by not including the provision, the fear was that a loophole might have been left open. To prevent this from happening he asked that the provision be left in the definition as it presently is.
The Committee agreed.
The DA re-presented their proposals on Clauses 6,13 and 11 to the Committee. This was due to Committee members requesting time to scrutinise the proposals.
Clauses 6 and 13 were presented together as they are inter-related.
Clause 6: Establishment and constitution of Council and appointment of councilors
And Clause 13: Committees to assist council
The ANC categorically dismissed the proposals. They said that they had discussed the proposals at length but unfortunately found them unacceptable.
Adv Gaum was disappointed that consensus could not be reached on the proposals.
The IFP was in principle supportive of the proposals. Mr E Ferreira (IFP) felt that the proposals were a step in the right direction but that it did not go far enough.
The ACDP and the UDM were also in principle supportive of the proposals, as it would have ensured representativity from both labour and the industry on the Council.
The ANC called for the clauses to remain as is.
Clause 11: Ministerial supervision of the Authority
The essence of the DA’s proposal was to limit the Minister’s power over the Authority.
The ANC felt that the Minister’s power should not limited given the Authority’s past history. The Chair stated that he understood that there were fears that the Minister may abuse his power but it is for this very reason that Parliament has an oversight function over the Executive.
Mr Gaum was once again disappointed that the clause would remain as it is. He added that it is all good and well to state that Parliament has an oversight function but the problem is that it rarely puts it in practice.
The Committee agreed to disagree on Clauses 6, 11 and 13.
In the course of discussions Mr Booi stated that he was appalled by the lack of co-operation between the Department and the Secretariat on the Bill. He pointed out that on more than one occasion their views differed on the drafting of certain provisions.
Adv Kok took exception to Mr Booi’s remarks and stated that if the Committee so wished he would excuse himself from working on the Bill.
The Chair managed to diffuse the situation and the proceedings continued.
Clause 14: Staff of Authority
The ANC raised concerns over the clause as it makes provision that persons who are currently employed by the Security Officers Interim Board would be guaranteed employment when the new Authority comes into being.
They called for the deletion of the clause.
The IFP felt that the clause should remain in the Bill. The reasoning was that it would be unfair to expect people who are employed to re-apply for their jobs.
The ACDP and the DA were curious to know what the consequences would be if the clause were to be deleted.
The Chair stated that people would not be fired at will, as the Labour Relations Act would in any event protect them. The staff complement at the Authority is merely to be reviewed.
Ms E Van Wyk (UDM) said that she supports the removal of the clause. She felt that if there is going to be a new Authority the revamping of the staff complement is maybe not a bad idea.
The Committee agreed to disagree.
Clause 15: Delegation of powers and assignment of duties by Council
The ANC proposed that the phrase, "Committee of councillors" be deleted from Clause 15(1). The explanation given was that the Council itself is small, so it would not make sense for them to delegate functions or duties to a "Committee of councillors".
The DA disagreed with the explanation. Adv Swart (DP) stated that this seems to be a contradiction as the ANC had already agreed to the appointment of a Committee of councillors in Clause 13 of the Bill.
Mr Kgauwe (ANC) stated that the intention was not to have a permanent Committee of councilors. It is therefore logical to assume that powers would not be delegated to them.
Adv Swart remained unconvinced.
Rev K Meshoe (ACDP) offered a possible solution. He supported the ANC’s proposal but suggested that the deleted phrase be replaced by, "any Committee that may be appointed in terms of Clause 13".
The clause would now read:
15(1) "Subject to subsection (5), the Council may assign any of its functions or duties and delegate any of its powers, except the power to make rules, to its chairperson, [a Committee of councillors] any Committee that may be appointed in terms of Clause 13, the director or a deputy director appointed in terms of this Act."
The Committee agreed to the proposal.
Clause 16: Funds of Authority
The ANC had wished to propose an amendment to the clause but the DA insisted that it be in writing.
The Committee agreed.
Chapter 3: Registration as security service provider
Clause 20: Obligation to register and exemptions
The Chair at the outset stated that he was aware that parties would find the clause controversial. He asked the Department and the Secretariat to work on Clauses 20, 21 and 22 to ensure that the security industry is regulated whilst at the same time not frustrating foreign investment.
It was evident the clauses were controversial and the Committee therefore delayed deliberating on them.
The meeting was adjourned.
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