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NCOP to Revive Fourteen Bills

October 17, 2019


17 October 2019

The National Council of Provinces is to revive fourteen bills at a plenary sitting today.

The fourteen bills lapsed at the end of the 5th parliament.

The bills to be revived are the:

• Border Management Authority Bill;
• Traditional Courts Bill;
• National Forests Amendment Bill;
• Cybercrimes Bill;
• National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill;
• Customary Initiation Bill;
• iKamva Digital Skills Institute Bill;
• Civil Union Amendment Bill;
• Hydrographic Bill;
• Local Government Municipal Structures Amendment Bill;
• Independent Police Investigative Directorate Amendment Bill;
• National Gambling Amendment Bill;
• Child Justice Amendment Bill and
• National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill.

The Border Management Authority Bill was tabled in parliament at the end of May 2016.

The national assembly passed the bill and sent it to the national council of provinces for concurrence in June 2017.

The proposed legislation was published for comment in August 2015.

The bill seeks to put a Border Management Authority (BMA) in place. It also provides for the function and structure of the envisaged authority.

The proposed legislation will also allow for the transfer, assignment and designation of law enforcement functions on the country’s borders and at points of entry to the BMA.

The BMA would be empowered to manage the movement of people across the borders, co-ordinate activities with other relevant state bodies and put an enabling environment in place to boost legitimate trade.

The bill also calls for the setting up of an Inter-Ministerial Consultative Committee, Border Technical Committee and advisory committees and provides for the review or appeal of decisions of officers.

The Cybercrimes Bill was originally tabled as the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill in 2017.

During its deliberations, the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services decided to only focus on cybercrimes issues, hence the change of the bill’s name to Cybercrimes Bill.

The national assembly passed the bill and sent it to the NCOP for concurrence in November 2018.

The Cybercrimes Bill aims to:

• create offences which have a bearing on cybercrime;
• criminalise the distribution of data messages which are harmful and to provide for interim protection orders;
• further regulate jurisdiction in respect of cybercrimes;
• further regulate the powers to investigate cybercrimes;
• further regulate aspects relating to mutual assistance in respect of the investigation of cybercrime;
• provide for the establishment of a designated Point of Contact;
• further provide for the proof of certain facts by affidavit;
• impose obligations to report cybercrimes;
• provide for capacity building;
• provide that the Executive may enter into agreements with foreign States to promote measures aimed at the detection, prevention, mitigation and investigation of cybercrimes;
• delete and amend provisions of certain laws; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The Child Justice Amendment Bill was tabled in parliament at the beginning of October 2018.

The NA passed the bill in November 2018 and sent it to the NCOP for concurrence.

It aims to increase the minimum age of criminal capacity of a child from ten years to twelve years.

The bill also seeks to remove the requirement to prove criminal capacity for purposes of diversion and preliminary inquiries.

The bill aims to amend the Child Justice Act of 2008, so as to:

• amend a definition;
• further regulate the minimum age of criminal capacity;
• further regulate the provisions relating to the decision to prosecute a child who is 12 years or older but under the age of 14 years;
• further regulate the proof of criminal capacity;
• further regulate the assessment report by the probation officer;
• further regulate the factors to be considered by a prosecutor when diverting a matter before a preliminary inquiry;
• further regulate the factors to be considered by an inquiry magistrate when diverting a matter at a preliminary inquiry;
• further regulate the orders that may be made at the preliminary inquiry;
• amend wording in order to facilitate the interpretation of a phrase;
• further regulate the factors to be considered by a judicial officer when diverting a matter in a child justice court; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The National Gambling Amendment Bill was tabled in parliament in August 2018.

The national assembly gave the green light to the bill and sent it to the NCOP for concurrence in December 2018.

It aims to amend the National Gambling Act of 2004, so as to:

• amend and delete certain definitions;
• transfer the regulation of bets on national lottery, foreign lottery, lottery results and sports pools to the National Lotteries Commission;
• prohibit dog racing and bets on dog racing;
• strengthen the regulation of casinos, limited pay-out machines and bingo;
• provide for the procedure for the forfeiture of unlawful winnings to the National Gambling Regulator;
• provide for the regulation of the horseracing industry;
• provide for broad-based black economic empowerment in the gambling industry;
• provide for the repositioning of the National Gambling Board as a National Gambling Regulator;
• enhance the powers and duties of the gambling inspector;
• provide for certain new offences;
• provide for transitional arrangements; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The National Minimum Wage Amendment Bill flows from the portfolio committee on labour.

The committee met in January 2019 to discuss the need for a draft bill to deal with a technical error found in the National Minimum Wage Act.

The act, setting a minimum wage of R20 per hour, came into force on 1 January 2019.

The special meeting of the committee discussed how the error could be corrected.

According to a parliamentary legal advisor, section 17(4) of the act incorrectly refers to cross-section 4(6) rather than 4(8) in terms of retrospective effect from 1 May 2017.

Section 4(8) stipulates that it is an unfair labour practice for an employer to unilaterally alter wages, hours of work and other conditions of employment.

The section wants to prevent a situation where an employer unilaterally changed certain conditions of employment once the bill had been tabled in parliament to avoid paying the minimum wage.

Currently, the act stipulates that, in accordance with section 4(6), the minimum wage be back-dated to 1 May 2017.

The bill aims to:
• amend the National Minimum Wage Act, 2018, so as to correct a cross-reference; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.