South Africa refutes US pressure on security industry bill

Cape Town, Oct 9 (IANS) South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) affirmed on Friday that it will not make any compromise on a highly-controversial private security industry bill despite the US pressure.

The announcement on the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment (PSIRA) Bill came as the ANC is holding its 2015 National General Council (NGC) which takes place every five years, Xinhua news agency reported.

Prior to the NGC, crucial trade partners such as the US urged the South African government to remove certain sections of the bill, particularly the clause requiring foreign-owned security companies to sell at least 51 percent of their businesses to locals.

The US trade mission made it clear that South Africa will lose out on funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank if it was not willing to consider objections made by various trade partners.

But ANC’s Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe has unequivocally stated that there will not be any compromise from the ANC on the Bill.

The ANC will not be “dictated to by the U.S.” on this matter, Mantashe said.

The PSIRA Bill is accused of breaching the World Trade Organisation (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) by limiting foreign ownership of private security companies.

The Bill, adopted by parliament more than a year ago, has been awaiting President Jacob Zuma’s signature.

Zuma said last month he hasn’t signed the Bill because the draft law deals with “very complex” issues and he needs to look at it thoroughly.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply