Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Phando/Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - The main opposition Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday it had opposed police minister Bheki Cele's draft amendment regulations in terms of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act, which it said sought to constrain an industry serving the safety of millions of citizens across all communities.

The proposed regulations place an unnecessary burden on the private security industry, both administratively and financially, and transfer 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 the South African Police Service (SAPS), DA shadow police minister Andrew Whitfield said in a statement.

"Of particular concern is the apparent duplication of the functions of the Central Firearms Registry, which is empowered by the Firearms Control Act and not the PSIRA Act to which these regulations are ascribed," he said.

"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."

Whitfield said Cele should focus on fixing SAPS "so that we can build a safe South Africa for all", noting that Last year 800 firearms were stolen from the police service and were currently being used in violent crimes and gang wars.

"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," he said.

African News Agency/ANA