• Policy Watch SA

IN THE LOOP (16)

Updated: a day ago

Vol. 1 No. 16, covering the week ending 12 November 2021


MEDIUM TERM BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT


Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s speech included references to:

  • the long-awaited Public Procurement Bill, which is still a work in progress but could be tabled in Parliament in 2022/3

  • a discussion document on retirement reforms, to be published ‘shortly’, and

  • proposals for supporting businesses in their efforts to ‘bounce back’ from the Covid-19 crisis, to be ‘announced shortly’.

COVID-19


The Independent Communications Authority of SA has announced a ‘provisional spectrum licensing arrangement’ intended to provide ‘an improved pro-competitive interim measure’ pending the commencement of the long awaited spectrum auctioning process. The authority’s ICT regulations for the duration of the Covid-19 State of Disaster have been amended to reflect the new arrangement.


DEVELOPMENTS OF GENERAL INTEREST


A presidential proclamation has confirmed that, by 31 December, a report on the commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector, including organs of state, should have been submitted to President Cyril Ramaphosa, with recommendations.


Reflecting proposals presented 24 hours beforehand to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance, the revised tax Bills tabled with the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement will be the focus of public hearings on Wednesday. They are:

  • the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill

  • Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill, and

  • the Rates & Monetary Amounts & Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill.

Recent National Assembly Social Development Committee public hearings on the Children’s Amendment Bill have drawn attention to ‘a strong call’ for the addition of provisions making early childhood development ‘compulsory’. Yet in March, the committee agreed to remove the Bill’s early childhood development clauses in the light of concerns expressed by the South African Local Government Association about its exclusion from pre-tabling stakeholder consultations.


The Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill will probably be returned to the National Assembly’s Co-operative Governance & Traditional Affairs Committee with recommendations for further changes. If adopted, one of the NCOP committee proposals would strengthen reporting obligations following investigations into non-performance and maladministration.


An explanatory summary of the revised National Veld & Forest Fire Amendment Bill has confirmed its imminent introduction in Parliament.


DEVELOPMENTS OF SECTOR-SPECIFIC INTEREST


During two National Assembly Trade & Industry Committee meetings on the remitted Copyright Amendment Bill:

  • Trade, Industry & Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel presented a detailed document on his department’s response to stakeholder input on the clauses reopened for public comment, and

  • parliamentary legal services briefed members on the options available for addressing President Cyril Ramaphosa’s concerns about the constitutionality of several clauses.

The NCOP Committee on Transport, Public Service & Administration and Public Works & Infrastructure has rejected a proposed amendment to regulations under the Road Traffic Act affecting truck drivers.


The Department of Forestry, Fisheries & the Environment has published guidelines on validating and verifying greenhouse gas emission data.


OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC COMMENT


The South African Law Reform Commission has called for input on a medico-legal claims discussion paper.


​FROM THE POWERS THAT BE


On the conduct of 'officials allegedly ... (taking) as little as R300 to allow people to enter the country without proper documents': 'This is very painful for me to swallow, having to learn that one’s country can be sold for as little as R300. What a shame. To me, this is not just crime or corruption, but it is an absolute disgrace and an act of treason against one’s country' (Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi)


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