• Policy Watch SA

IN THE LOOP (14)

Updated: a day ago



Vol. 1 No. 14, covering the week ending 29 October 2021

(copies of earlier editions are available on request)

FROM THE AUTHOR


Once again, there are few significant developments to report. On the policy and legislative fronts, this relative inactivity is likely to continue until 9 November, when Parliament is scheduled to reconvene.


COVID-19


Forestry, Fisheries & the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy has withdrawn a raft of directives issued during the Covid-19 State of Disaster. Two affect live biodiversity auctions. Others affect marine and freshwater fishing; and waste recycling.


DEVELOPMENTS OF GENERAL INTEREST


Higher Education, Science & Innovation Deputy Minister Buti Manamela has drawn attention to a technical and vocational education and training college programme aimed at developing quality ‘centres of specialisation’.


National Treasury and the Department of Employment & Labour have confirmed that the presidential youth employment intervention’s national pathway management network innovation fund is now open for grant applications.


The regulations on customer care standards for postal services have been amended and will come into force in January.


Hemp was unceremoniously declared an agricultural product on 8 October under the 1976 Plant Improvement Act. This paved the way for Friday’s announcement from Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza, officially opening the hemp permit application process.


DEVELOPMENTS OF SECTOR-SPECIFIC INTEREST


The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors has gazetted the strategy required under the 2021 Auditing Professions Amendment Act, which has been in force since April.


The total allowable catch for West Coast rock lobster is being reviewed following widespread expressions of concern (IoL) and representations from small-scale and commercial fishers about ‘recent cuts’.


President Cyril Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that phase two of South Africa’s automotive production development programme came into operation on 1 July, as anticipated. The regulations were gazetted in February.


OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC COMMENT


National Treasury has gazetted a revised set of proposed amendments to 1956 Pension Funds Act regulation 28. Once operationalised, they are expected to facilitate pension fund investments in public infrastructure.


The deadline for input on the South African Law Reform Commission discussion paper, ‘Maternity and parental benefits for self-employed workers in the informal economy’, has been extended.


The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance has confirmed that hearings on the 2021/22 revised fiscal framework and revenue proposals have been scheduled for 17 November. The documents will only be available on 11 November, when they are expected to be tabled with the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

FROM THE POWERS THAT BE


‘The Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee ... has conducted a security threat assessment and they have assured us that the situation in the country is relatively stable, which is conducive to free and fair elections(Ministers of the Justice, Crime Prevention & Security Cluster)


'We know that even when there has been a super spreader event the effects will be felt 7-15 days later. We are also aware that the next three days over this weekend are going to be the most risky as political parties rally their supporters at big gatherings to motivate them to go out in big numbers on Monday. Notwithstanding the fact that most gatherings are held outdoors, the risk is still high when large crowds gather with no social distancing, no masks and go on to sing and shout' (Health Minister Joe Phaahla)


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