The Democratic Alliance (DA) has opposed Police Minister Bheki Cele’s draft amendment regulations in terms of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act. While the South African Police Service (SARS) is failing to keep up with the demands placed on it by increasing levels of crime and gross under resourcing, it is alarming that Minister Cele seeks to constrain an industry serving the safety of millions of citizens across all communities.
The proposed draft regulations place an unnecessary burden on the private security industry, both administratively and financially, and transfers an over concentration of power to the hands of the Private Security Industry Authority (PSIRA), particularly with reference to powers that should solely lie with SAPS. Of particular concern is the apparent duplication of the functions of the Central Firearms Registry (CFR), which is empowered by the Firearms Control Act and not the PSIRA Act to which these regulations are ascribed.
The DA also finds it concerning that the Minister wants to push through regulations to the Act while the PSIRA Amendment Bill has been sitting on the President’s desk since 2014. The DA still opposes this amendment bill, but we believe that the President needs to formally announce his decision in respect of this bill, before considering any regulations in terms of the Act.
The Minister must ensure that the proposed regulations and all public comments serve before the Portfolio Committee on Police so that all precautions can be taken to ensure that the regulations are responsible and in the best interest of the safety of all citizens of South Africa.
Last year 800 firearms were stolen from SAPS and are currently being used in violent crimes and gang wars throughout our country. It is time for the Minister to stop fiddling and rather focus on fixing SAPS so that we can build a safe South Africa for all.
The DA will continue to propose tangible solutions to build and honest and professional police service that can turn the tide on crime in South Africa by:
- Adopting a zero-tolerance approach to corruption within the SAPS;
- Ensuring the appointment of fit for purpose officers and management who are passionate about policing;
- Re-training all police officers to serve and protect with pride;
- Making policing a provincial competency, and;
- Establishing an effective drug-busting force.
While the Minister of Police diverts his attention from ensuring a well-resourced SAPS, citizens continue to suffer at the hands of crime and violence. Now is not the time for draft amendments, now is the time for decisive and bold action to ensure our police are equipped to ensure the safety of all South Africans.
Andrew Whitfield MP
DA Shadow Minister of Police
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