The Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill has been passed by Parliament and is waiting for President Jacob Zuma’s signature.
Most of the bill involves relatively uncontentious and overdue new regulations on the sector, like strengthening the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority and making security companies report regularly on their guards’ use of guns.
The controversy comes from a new rule that foreign shareholders cannot own more than 49% of a security company in South Africa.
This includes subcategories like investigation services, security consulting, alarm monitoring, armoured transport and guarding.
The bill allows the government to set higher or lower maximum levels for foreign ownership in these categories, meaning some sectors may be unaffected or completely closed to foreign companies.