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Comment on Draft Merchant Shipping Bill Extended

July 7, 2020

Department of Transport

Comment on the Draft Merchant Shipping Bill has been extended.

The transport department published the extension notice in Government Gazette 43505.

The draft bill designed to provide for the registration and licensing of ships in South Africa was published for comment in Gazette 43073 in March 2020.

The draft bill aims to:

• provide for the powers and duties of the Minister and the South African Maritime Safety Authority in the administration of this Act;
• provide for the registration and licensing of ships in the Republic;
• provide for the application of the labour laws to seafarers, to provide for the conditions of employment of seafarers and the health and well-being of seafarers on board a vessel;
• promote the safety of life at sea;
• establish inspection and enforcement mechanisms including those for marine casualties and crimes committed on ships;
• provide for the regulation of marine traffic, provide for legal proceedings and jurisdictional matters, to recognise and incorporate international conventions to which the Republic is bound in terms of the provisions of the Constitution and its incorporation into domestic law in terms of laws repealed by this Act;
• provide a transition framework to the new requirements of this Act; and
• provide for matters incidental thereto.

Chapters focus on administration; ship registration, tonnage, licensing of vessels and notifications of intention to build vessels; seafarers; maritime safety; marine casualty and marine incident investigations; marine traffic; offences and penalties; proceedings by authority and legal proceedings; regulations and general provisions.

Comment is now invited within 30 days of the date of publication.

Meanwhile, in Gazette 43495, the Road Accident Fund announced the adjustment of the emergency medical treatment tariff in terms of subsection 17(4B)(b) of the Road Accident Fund Act.

The tariff provided for in subsection 17(4B)(b) is adjusted with effect from 1 April 2020 by increasing the tariff by 5%.

The notice also points out that the adjustment applies to claims that have not been finally determined by settlement or judgment on the day of publication of the notice.