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NCOP Briefed on Civil Aviation Bill

September 6, 2021

Department of Transport

The transport department briefed the national council of provinces (NCOP) recently on the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill.

The bill was tabled in parliament in November 2018.

The transport department published the bill for comment towards the end of 2016.

The bill lapsed at the end of the 5th parliament but was revived by the national assembly at the end of October 2019.

The bill aims to amend the Civil Aviation Act of 2009 so as to:

• amend existing, and insert new, definitions;
• rectify references to certain Ministries and Government Departments;
• amend Chapter 4 of the Act so as to make provision for the operational
independence of aircraft accident and incident investigation;
• rectify the provision regarding the establishment of the South African Civil Aviation
Authority;
• give the South African Civil Aviation Authority environmental protection oversight function;
• make provision for the Civil Aviation Authority as a preferential creditor in respect of any money, fees, charges or levies collected on its behalf;
• do away with the requirement for the development of a corporate governance plan;
• make provision for an employee of the Department to be a member of the Civil Aviation Authority Board;
• amend the provisions relating to the appointment and removal of the Commissioner for Civil Aviation and matters related to his or her functions and responsibilities;
• amend the provisions relating to the performance agreement between the Minister and the Aviation Safety Investigation Board;
• clarify the provisions dealing with conflict of interest;
• provide for the designation of the Chairperson of the National Aviation Security
Committee and matters connected with the operations of the Committee;
• delete the provisions dealing with compliance notices;
• amend the provisions dealing with appeals;
• authorise the Minister to issue exemptions and to prescribe additional offences and additional enforcement mechanisms;
• extend the powers of the Minister to make regulations;
• move the procedures for the establishment of consultative structures to the regulations; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

According to the portfolio committee on transport’s invitation for comment at the end of 2020, following public hearings and deliberations, the committee decided that it would be necessary to amend other provisions of the principal act which were not included in the bill, and to further extend the public consultations.

Following a submission from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) on its preferential creditor status, the proposed amendments would allow SACAA to be one of the “first-in-line creditors to get their fees, either via a Trust or ring-fenced funds as a preferential creditor through the Insolvency Act”.

The committee adopted the bill with amendments in March 2021 and the national assembly sent it to the NCOP for concurrence in May 2021.

Meanwhile, the department also briefed the select committee on transport, public service and administration and public works and infrastructure on the impact of recent unrest on the transport sector.

The briefing focused on roads, rail and public transport.