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Parliament Briefed on Agricultural Produce Agents Bill

March 5, 2021

Parliament

Parliament was briefed last week on the Agricultural Produce Agents Amendment Bill.

The bill was tabled in parliament in November 2020.

The bill’s explanatory summary was published in Government Gazette 43723 in September 2020.

The bill aims to amend the Agricultural Produce Agents Act, 1992, so as to:


• refine certain definitions;
• provide for certain provisions of the Agricultural Produce Agents Act,1992, to apply to all categories of agents;
• clarify the appointment and responsibilities of the registrar;
• provide for financial statements of the council to be audited by the Auditor General;
• provide for insurance of the fidelity fund;
• further clarify the conditions for acting as an agent;
• provide for trust accounts for export agents;
• provide for insurance by export and fresh produce agents; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

According to the bill’s memorandum, the objectives of the Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC) are to regulate the occupations of fresh produce, export and livestock agents and to maintain and enhance the status and dignity of the occupations and the integrity of persons practicing them.

The functions of the APAC include the formulation of policy and the setting up of rules and codes of conduct.

Briefing the portfolio committee on agriculture, land reform and rural development, the agriculture, land reform and rural development department pointed out that current shortcomings of the act include that APAC can’t undertake inspections, investigations and disciplinary actions against export and livestock agents; fresh produce and export agents are not compelled to fidelity insurance to protect producers against losses; export agents not compelled to keep producer trust accounts and Fidelity Fund not insured with a risk of large claims.

The department also briefed the portfolio committee on agriculture, land reform and rural development on the Sectional Titles Amendment Bill.

The bill was tabled in parliament in November 2020.

The bill’s explanatory summary was published in Gazette 43722 in September 2020.

The bill aims to amend the Sectional Titles Act of 1986 so as to:


• refine certain definitions;
• provide for the developer to answer questions put to the developer by the agents of the lessees;
• provide that a certificate issued by an architect or a land surveyor must also comply with section 26(2) of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013;
• further provide for the amendment of sectional plans in respect of exclusive use areas;
• further provide for the amendment and cancellation of a sectional plan upon an order of the court;
• provide for the noting of a title deed in respect of the lapsing of a reservation in terms of section 25;
• provide for a lease of part of the common property with the consent of the holders of registered real rights;
• amend the provisions relating to the alienation of common property;
• further provide for the cancellation of a mortgaged section and mortgaged exclusive use area;
• also provide for a developer to submit a plan for subdivision or consolidation to the Surveyor-General for approval to subdivide, consolidate and to extend a section;
• extend the registration of subdivision of a section, the consolidation of sections, and the extension of sections to a developer;
• provide for the filing of replacement documentation in respect of lost or destroyed documentation;
• amend the provisions relating to the extension of a scheme;
• amend the provisions relating to participation quotas of sections;
• regulate the membership of the sectional titles regulations board;
• amend the transitional provisions; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

Cabinet approved the bill in August 2020 for tabling in parliament.

According to the cabinet statement, the “proposed amendments provide clarity and protect the lessees in the properties under the sectional-arrangement buildings”.