Wednesday, June 18, 2014

South Africa: Trade Groups Criticize Law Mandating South Africans Own 51% of Foreign Security Firms

According to The Associated Press, some foreign business groups in South Africa are criticizing a proposed law that would require foreign-owned private security firms to sell at least 51% of their businesses to South Africans.

COMMENT: The American Chamber of Commerce and the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry say the measure, if approved, will deter foreign investors, undermine the economy and violate international trade agreements. 

Parliament has approved a bill that contains the measure. Business groups are appealing to President Jacob Zuma to send it back to lawmakers for revision instead of signing it.

South Africa's private security industry is massive, given the inability of police to significantly make a dent in what has for years been a crime crisis in South Africa.

Supporters of the proposed measure argue that foreign ownership of private security firms could threaten national security.