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IN THE light of the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill, which has been awaiting President Jacob Zuma’s signature for the past year, Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko wrote on this page this week that SA would start talks at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to amend its commitments to the private security sector under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (Gats).If the government decides a 49% cap on foreign ownership in the private security industry is a legitimate policy objective, according to Gats, WTO members have a fundamental right to amend their schedules of commitments.In modifying its own schedule, SA must first notify the WTO’s Council for Trade in Services at least three months before the date of implementation of the measure. Any WTO member that is affected by the proposed change can request negotiations into which SA must enter with a view to reaching agreement on compensation within three months. The foreign ownership cap is likely to affect cou...

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