18 March 2019
The Financial Matters Amendment Bill has been passed by the national assembly (NA) and sent to the national council of provinces (NCOP) for concurrence.
The bill was tabled in parliament at the end of January 2019.
Treasury briefed parliament on the draft bill in November 2018.
Comment was sought on the proposed legislation in August 2018.
Cabinet approved the draft bill for tabling in parliament at its last meeting of 2018 on 5 December.
The bill originally intended introducing amendments to the Auditing Profession Act of 2005.
However, during deliberations, the standing committee on finance decided that there was not enough time before the end of the 5th parliament to process the proposed amendments to the Auditing Profession Act and they were subsequently removed from the bill.
Acts to be amended include the Insolvency Act, Military Pensions Act and Banks Act.
The bill aims to amend:
• the Insolvency Act, 1936, so as to provide for a process when a creditor realizes his or her security in terms of a master agreement and for a power for the Master to deal with disputes raised by the trustee and other creditors regarding preference of that secured creditor;
• the Military Pensions Act, 1976, so as to provide for all categories of spouses and for life partners of members by amending, inserting and deleting certain definitions; and by providing for both genders throughout the Act and regulating the registration of a spouse to qualify for benefits upon the death of a member;
• the Banks Act, 1990, so as to regard national state-owned companies as public companies for purposes of the application of the Banks Act; to determine prerequisites for these companies and their holding companies to qualify to apply for establishment as a bank; and to provide for inconsistencies between the Banks Act and certain other legislation with respect to state-owned companies; and
• the Government Employees Pension Law, 1996, so as to replace the divorce debt approach with a pensionable service reduction approach to adjust the benefit of a member of the Government Employees Pension Fund following a pension interest assigned to a former spouse of the member as result of a decree of divorce or for the dissolution of a customary marriage; and to provide for a transitional measure.
During deliberations, the committee decided to reject the Banks Amendment Bill, a private member’s bill drawn up by Floyd Shivambu, an Economic Freedom Fighters member of parliament.
The majority in the committee held the view that the Financial Matters Amendment Bill was best placed to facilitate the setting up of state-owned banks by state-owned enterprises as it contains more qualifications and checks and balances on the formation of a state-owned bank.
The select committee on finance will now process the bill.
The Division of Revenue Bill was also passed by the NA and sent to the NCOP for concurrence.
The bill seeks to:
• provide for the equitable division of revenue raised nationally among the national, provincial and local spheres of government for the 2019/20 financial year, the determination of each province’s equitable share and allocations to provinces, local government and municipalities from national government’s equitable share and the responsibilities of all three spheres pursuant to such division and allocations; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.
The select committee on appropriations will now process the bill.