The recently signed Hydrographic Act is designed to improve the safety of navigation in South Africa’s territorial waters.
The presidency highlighted this in a statement on the assenting of five bills into law.
The Hydrographic Act provides for the setting up of the Hydrographic Office as a unit within the South African Navy responsible for the safety of navigation in South Africa’s exclusive economic zone and its internal waters.
“The Office will ensure that hydrographic surveying is done in accordance with international specifications and will issue sailing directions, notices to mariners and nautical publications, in addition to other services.”
According to the presidency, the office and its functions is vital for the safe use and economic management of the marine resources along South Africa’s 3 000km coastline, a key part of an important global shipping route.
Other acts recently signed include the Foreign Service Act that provides for the administration, accountability and functioning of a professional South African foreign service managed by the international relations and cooperation department, the Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Act that provides for the disclosure of information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates, the Child Justice Amendment Act that provides for an increase of the minimum age of criminal capacity of a child from 10 to 12 years and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Amendment Act that provides for parliamentary oversight in relation to the suspension, discipline or removal of the executive director of IPID.