Vol. 1 No. 9, covering the week ending 24 September 2021
(copies of earlier editions are available on request)
FROM THE AUTHOR
With Parliament in recess and a public holiday to boot, not much happened last week. It may well be the same next week and the next - until the local government elections are over. With that in mind, and on a lighter note ...
POLICY & LEGISLATION OF GENERAL INTEREST
The Constitution 18th Amendment Bill has been published – having been tabled in the National Assembly on 9 September. If supported by two thirds of the 400-member House, it will be sent to the NCOP where, to be passed, the Bill will require at least six provinces to vote in its favour. 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.
Regulations on municipal staffing have been gazetted but will only come into force next July. This is noting that Parliament is in the final phase of processing the latest Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill. The new regulations include a comprehensive chapter on skills development.
POLICY & LEGISLATION OF SECTOR-SPECIFIC INTEREST
The Liquor Products Amendment Act has been gazetted but is not yet in force. Once operationalised, among other things it will bring beer, traditional African beer and other fermented beverages within the ambit of the principal statute.
The 2016 National Land Transport Amendment Bill has been returned to Parliament, based on concerns about the constitutionality a clause possibly interfering with the statutory responsibilities of South Africa's three spheres of government.
Amendments have been made to guidelines, rules and conditions affecting import duty rebate certificate applications from domestic manufacturers ‘significantly impacted by the unprecedented scope and impact of … civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng’.
OUT FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
The Prudential Authority has called for input on a discussion document apparently reviewing the 'government bond curve'. Posted on the South African Reserve Bank website on 23 September, it could still not be accessed at the time of writing - possibly because of a technical glitch.
The Department of Forestry, Fisheries & the Environment has gazetted ten more sets of policy proposals on commercial fishing rights allocation, including one dealing with the transfer of rights in whole or part.
The NCOP’s Transport, Public Service & Administration, Public Works & Infrastructure Committee has called for written submissions on the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill – which, once in force, is expected to address ‘practical difficulties’ experienced during efforts to establish an aviation safety investigating board .
DEVELOPMENTS OF GENERAL INTEREST
The Department of Justice & Constitutional Development has issued a media statement on arrangements in place to ensure that courts operate normally and key services remain available until ongoing difficulties with its IT system have been resolved.
FROM THE POWERS THAT BE (quotations from the original documents)
'Our reality is that the current state of the South African economy is unsustainable' (Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana)
'The July events and the pandemic are likely to have lasting effects on investor confidence and job creation, impeding recovery in labour-intensive sectors hardest hit by the lockdowns'
(South African Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago)
'When people are deprived of the basic services without proper explanation of why this has happened or how it is being fixed, it erodes public confidence in local government. Sometimes people think that the only way to get the attention of those tasked with the provision of services is through violent protest' (President Cyril Ramaphosa)
'It has become increasingly difficult to remember a time when our country as a whole was not experiencing some form of drought, or water challenges requiring urgent action' (Water & Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu)
'South Africa needs to reset the tourism sector in the continent. We hope to make immediate gains through inter-regional and domestic travel to sustain the sector' (Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu)
'Communities have a rightful expectation that when their areas are the sites of large-scale economic projects, whether it is road construction or mining, that they should benefit from them. At the same time, I want to call on our communities to be responsible and to cooperate with government whenever such projects are being planned and implemented. Using intimidation or violence to secure a share of benefits from the project is counter-productive, and it has far-reaching impacts. When there are stoppages it doesn’t just cost the contractors, it costs the entire country' (President Cyril Ramaphosa)
'Although there is no winner or loser, the (Gauteng North High Court) judgement (which reviewed and set aside some clauses of the mining charter) may create an environment where the regulator resorts to legislating every aspect of the sector, which could have far-reaching implications for mining companies' (National Assembly Mineral Resources & Energy Committee chair, Sahlulele Luzipo)
'One of our greatest tasks as a nation is to heal the divisions of the past. We will never be a truly united nation until we overcome the poverty, inequality and underdevelopment and unemployment that is still so prevalent in our communities. We can only do so if we work together' (President Cyril Ramaphosa)
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