Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
30 July 2019
The Regional Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Data Collection System has been deployed.
In a speech at the deployment in Pretoria, the deputy minister of justice and constitutional development, John Jeffery, indicated that the Data Template “aims to collect data and focuses on important questions such as, for example, the total number of trafficking victims (suspected and/or confirmed) identified by government during a specific reporting period, as well as an indication of the form of trafficking and the personal details of the victim and perpetrator such as sex and age”.
The deputy minister added that government is now in a better position to confirm the number of identified or detected victims, who are receiving services from the government established shelters, the number of convictions, and the number of pending cases in the criminal justice system pertaining to TIP.
The Data Collection System flows from the National Policy Framework launched in April 2019.
Reference was also made to the envisaged Border Management Authority (BMA).
The deputy minister holds the view that the BMA will help to prevent and combat trafficking in persons.
The BMA Bill was tabled in parliament at the end of May 2016.
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 bill lapsed at the end of the 5th parliament.
Meanwhile, the justice and constitutional development department recently highlighted the approval by cabinet of the Draft Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill for tabling in parliament.
In a statement, the department pointed out that the draft bill brings section 7(1) and (2) of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act of 1998 in line with a 2017 Constitutional Court judgment which declared the provisions constitutionally invalid.
The sections discriminate unfairly against women in customary marriages.
The draft bill is yet to be tabled in parliament.
In a separate matter, the national assembly, last week, approved a legislative proposal from the justice and correctional services committee to amend the Promotion of Access to Information Act of 2000 “so that it provides for recording, preserving and making information available about private funding of political parties and independent candidates”.
The Constitutional Court, in 2018, declared the act invalid as it did not do this and ordered Parliament to make the necessary amendments.
“The Bill, which the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services has proposed and which the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development supports, obliges the accounting officer of a political party (defined to include an independent candidate) to create and keep records of any money paid or donated by persons or entities to a political party which is more than R100 000; any money lent to the political party; any money paid on behalf of a political party; assets, services or facilities provided to a political party; and any sponsorships provided to a political party. The records must be kept for at least five years after they have been created.”