President Ramaphosa has sent the National Land Transport Amendment Bill back to the national assembly (NA) for consideration of reservations about its constitutionality.
Parliament passed the bill and sent it to the president for assent in March 2020.
The bill was tabled in parliament in April 2016.
The NA passed the bill and sent it to the national council of provinces (NCOP) for concurrence in April 2018.
In April 2019 the NCOP passed the bill and returned it to the NA for concurrence. The select committee on economic and business development had proposed amendments to the bill.
The bill lapsed in May 2019 but was revived by the NA in October 2019.
The bill seeks to amend the National Land Transport Act of 2009 in order to:
• insert certain definitions and amend others;
• provide for non-motorised and accessible transport;
• bring the Act up to date with developments since the implementation of the Act;
• provide for certain powers of provinces to conclude contracts for public transport services;
• expand the powers of the Minister to make regulations and introduce safety measures;
• prescribe criteria and requirements for municipalities to enter into contracts for public transport services;
• amend other transport-related legislation to bring it into line with the Act;
• clarify or simplify various provisions or solve problems that have arisen since the implementation of the Act; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.
During deliberations on the bill, the portfolio committee on transport amended the bill to allow cities such as Cape Town that have already concluded contracts to do so without having to qualify first.
The proposed new section 11(10) was also amended to empower the transport minister to prescribe or direct the process of transition from the old order contracts to new contracts under subsection (8).
During its deliberations, the select committee on economic and business development also introduced amendments to the bill including a new clause 16 outlining responsibilities of provincial regulatory entities such as keeping operating licence administrative system up to date, inviting comments and complaints from interested parties and advising the MEC on the treatment of all passengers using public transport.
The portfolio committee on transport adopted the select committee’s amendments.
In a letter, the president expressed reservations about the constitutionality of clauses 7(a), 7(b), 7(h), 7(i), 7(j), 7(k), 7(l) and 7(m) of the bill.
The clauses form part of a package of amendments regarding the respective responsibilities of national, provincial and local government concerning land transport.