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NCOP Seeks Comment on Hydrographic Bill

February 6, 2019

Select Committee on Security and Justice

The select committee on security and justice has called for comment on the Hydrographic Bill.

The bill was passed by the national assembly and sent to the national council of provinces for concurrence at the end of October 2018.

The bill was drawn up by the defence and military veterans department.

It was tabled in parliament at the beginning of June 2018.

The bill aims to:

• provide for the establishment of the Hydrographic Office;
• provide for its objects, functions and the manner in which it is to be managed;
• provide for the appointment and powers of the Hydrographer and the staff in the Hydrographic Office;
• regulate the submission of hydrographic data;
• regulate the manner in which hydrographic survey marks and copyrights may be protected;
• provide for the limitation of civil liability;
• provide for the manner in which the income of the Hydrographic Office must be dealt with;
• provide for co-operation agreements; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The setting up of the Hydrographic Office, currently within the South African National Defence Force, will enable it to continue to exist as a unit in the South African Navy.

During its deliberations, the portfolio committee on defence and military veterans inserted new definitions on “hydrographic data” and “user” into the bill.

A new subclause 12(1) was also added dealing with the liability of the Hydrographic Office in the event of gross negligence or a willful act or omission relating to the use of any nautical publication or nautical charts produced and sold by the Hydrographic Office.

Comment is invited until 1 March 2019.