• Policy Watch SA

IN THE LOOP (7)

Updated: a day ago


Vol. 1 No. 7, covering the week ending 10 September 2021

(copies of earlier editions are available on request)

DISASTER MANAGEMENT

The disaster management regulations for Covid-19 adjusted lockdown level two are now in force, confirming the eased restrictions announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.



POLICY & LEGISLATION OF GENERAL INTEREST


The Constitution 18th Amendment Bill and an accompanying report have been tabled in the National Assembly. The Bill's purpose is to amend section 25 of the Constitution (property rights) to explicitly allow expropriation with nil compensation for land reform purposes when just and equitable. A report on the second round of public hearings was tabled separately, a report on the first round having been tabled in May.


The National Assembly's Public Works & Infrastructure Committee concluded its public participation process on the revised Expropriation Bill by hosting a second round of oral submissions. The first was held in March, mistakenly in tandem with oral submissions on the draft Constitution 18th Amendment Bill hosted by a 'sister' committee - raising concerns about the process.

The Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill has been strengthened to more comprehensively protect the identity of child victims in criminal proceedings, according to a National Assembly Justice & Correctional Services Committee report recently tabled in the House. The revised Bill has been sent to the NCOP, but is not yet publicly available.

The Domestic Violence Amendment Bill and Criminal Law (Sexual Offences & Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill are ready be signed into law. Not yet publicly available, revised versions of each Bill now reflect changes proposed by the NCOP, according to recently tabled National Assembly Justice & Correctional Services Committee reports. Together with the Criminal & Related Matters Amendment Bill (which Parliament passed on 1 September) the two Bills are expected to go some way towards curbing gender-based violence.

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries & Diseases Amendment Bill has been passed by the National Assembly and is now with the NCOP. Once operationalised, among other things it will bring domestic workers within the ambit of protection offered by the Act.

POLICY & LEGISLATION OF SECTOR-SPECIFIC INTEREST

A revised Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill - proposing a comprehensive framework for the resolution of failed large, systemically important financial institutions, including banks - has been been passed by the National Assembly and is now before the NCOP.

A policy on inland ‘freshwater wild capture fisheries’ has been approved by Cabinet ‘for implementation’, according to a Department of Forestry, Fisheries & the Environment media statement.


The Sectional Titles Amendment Bill will be revised to include a clause removing a requirement in the Act that ‘two persons having special knowledge of sectional title development schemes’ should serve on the Sectional Titles Regulation Board. The Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act already deals with this, according to a recent National Assembly Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development Committee media statement. The committee has since been authorised to proceed as envisaged.

OUT FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

The Financial Sector Conduct and Prudential Authorities have called for input on a draft standard proposing the minimum requirements to be met by insurers when outsourcing material business functions or activities to third-party service providers. Its purpose is explained in the accompanying statement of need.


The National Assembly’s Transport Committee has called for written submissions on the Railway Safety Bill, which is intended to replace the National Railway Safety Regulator Act.


The National Minimum Wage Commission has called for input on possible adjustments to the prevailing hourly rate, which since 1 March has been R21.69 for each ordinary hour worked.


The Department of Transport has called for comment on draft amendments to the 1994 maritime occupational safety regulations. Replacing a version released in June, they now include proposals for a detailed ‘code of safe working practice for ships working cargo in South African ports’.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS OF GENERAL INTEREST

The long-awaited high-demand radio frequency spectrum auction could have taken place ‘by the end of January 2022’, according an Independent Communications Authority of SA media statement.

Parliament has adjourned for a pre-local government elections constituency period that will last until 1 November.

FROM THE POWERS THAT BE (quotations from the original documents)

'The lack of accreditation at ... historically disadvantaged institutions (has) limited access and (the) advancement of black people in the accountancy profession. It results in their BComm graduates not being able to become chartered accountants and their qualifications not being recognised by prospective employers' (Higher Education, Science & Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande)

'We are acutely aware that our learners haven’t fared well (in developing basic literacy skills), despite notable improvements in the recent rounds of international testing systems as a country' (Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga)

'Why should we refuse vaccines meant to save our lives and meant to ensure we rebuild and reconstruct our economy?' (Deputy President David Mabuza)

'At this juncture, there is no legislative power that enables provinces to “take over” a national competency such as policing' (Police Minister Bheki Cele)

'Let us be united in giving our children a fair chance to life by banishing alcohol consumption among pregnant and breastfeeding mothers' (Mineral Resources & Energy Deputy Minister Nobuhle Nkabane)

'While tourism is a key economic pillar, economic development is not possible without people development' (Tourism Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela)


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