From the Government Gazette and Media Statements (03 January 2022)
ELECTORAL LAWS AMENDMENT BILL
- On 7 December, the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee released a media statement on a meeting about the Bill, which:
- was tabled in the House in draft form on 1 December
- was included in a letter from Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
- is intended to correct ‘defective sections in electoral law’ requiring adult citizens to be members of a political party before standing for election to the National Assembly, and
- will be the focus of a comprehensive public consultation process.
- On 20 December, an end-of-year statement from Parliament itself noted that the Bill:
- is one of three pieces of legislation to be prioritised this year by the National Assembly
- ‘must be processed and finalised before 10 June 2022 in terms of the Constitutional Court deadline’, and
- ‘is scheduled for introduction by the Department of Home Affairs … early next year’.
- On 31 December, the Bill’s explanatory summary was gazetted.
BASIC EDUCATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL
- On 15 December, the Department of Basic Education issued a media statement intended to clarify misunderstandings about certain clauses dealing with alcohol on school premises.
- This is noting that:
- On 24 November, Cabinet approved the Bill for tabling in Parliament, in anticipation of which:
- on 6 December an explanatory summary was gazetted that, among other things, referred to:
- a clause in the Bill that, once in force, will ‘refine’ provisions in the Act ‘to provide for conditions under which liquor may be possessed, sold or consumed on school premises or during school activities’.
- According to the Department’s media statement, the amendment envisaged would, with the permission of the school governing body, make it possible for alcohol to be sold and consumed on school premises only during:
- fund-raising activities organised by the governing body
- private functions held on school premises hired out for that purpose
- staff functions, and
- in the homes of school staff living on the premises.
- At the time of writing, the Bill had not been tabled and was therefore not available.
BASIC INCOME GRANT
- On 13 December, the Department of Social Development issued a media statement on the findings of a panel of experts appointed to investigate the ‘salience and feasibility’ of introducing basic income support for people between the ages of 18 and 60, which is that:
- it can be ‘safely implemented’ using a mix of:
- ‘limited debt financing’
- ‘tax revenue improvements arising from any demand stimulus’, and
- ‘carefully calibrated tax increases where required’, and that
- the R350 per month Covid-19 social relief of distress grant should:
- be ‘institutionalised’, and
- form ‘the platform for an expanded system of basic income support … (to) be improved incrementally over time’.
- it can be ‘safely implemented’ using a mix of:
- In a separate statement the same day, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said the findings have provided a ‘persuasive’ set of ‘guidelines’ for the ongoing process of determining the ‘appropriateness and feasibility’ of introducing basic income support.
- On 14 December, National Treasury issued a media statement calling for public comment by 31 January on two discussion papers, exploring:
- On 15 December, National Treasury issued a media statement calling for public comment by 25 January on three discussion documents, exploring:
- the most 'appropriate' tax regime for the oil and gas industry
- the design, implementation and impact of South Africa’s research and development tax incentive, and
- electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems (vaping) taxation.
- On 15 December, The Financial Sector Conduct Authority and Prudential Authority issued a joint media statement calling for public comment by 15 February on a draft cybersecurity and cyber resilience standard, which:
- is unpacked in an accompanying statement of need
- prescribes the minimum standards required for ‘sound practices and processes’, and
- is intended to ensure that affected financial institutions are:
- adequately prepared for cyber-attacks
- able to respond appropriately, and
FINANCIAL SECTOR REGULATION
- On 10 December, the Accounting Standards Board gazetted a notice calling for public comment by 31 March on proposals for the contents of a ‘due process handbook’, which will guide the development of standards of generally recognised accounting practice for government departments and public entities.
- On 14 December, the Prudential Authority called for public comment by 31 January on a draft directive intended to prescribe the reporting requirements associated with conducting the business of:
- ‘a representative office of a foreign banking institution operating in South Africa, and
- a representative office of a South African bank operating in another country.
- On 3 December, the Financial Intelligence Centre issued a communication and consultation feedback document intended to further clarify matters relating to business relationships with prominent, influential persons and their immediate families.
- On 31 December, the Information Regulator gazetted a notice calling for public comment by 14 January on Banking Association South Africa’s draft code, which is intended to ‘promote appropriate practices’ when processing personal information under the Protection of Personal Information Act.
ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE REPORTING
- On 9 December, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange issued a media statement calling for public comment by 28 February on two complementary discussion papers, the purpose of which is to:
HIGH-DEMAND RADIO FREQUENCY SPECTRUM
- On 10 December, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) issued an invitation to apply to participate in the next phase of the licensing process, with a reasons document explaining the steps taken to date.
- On 24 December, Icasa:
- announced the commencement of an inquiry into ‘the long-term spectrum outlook’ and
- called for public comment by 4 March on ‘an analysis of regulatory, technical and economic factors, including relevant regional and international best practices’.
- Also on 24 December, Icasa called for public comment by 11 February on proposals for implementing the:
- radio frequency migration plan, and
- international mobile telecommunications roadmap, which
- emerged from an inquiry begun in September 2021.
- On 7 December, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment called for public comment by 26 January on a proposed amendment to the February 2018 regulations, which:
- prescribe the procedures to be followed before beginning large-scale wind and solar photovoltaic energy development activities, and
- once amended, will exempt developers from submitting a route already negotiated with affected landowners.
- On 10 December, the Consumer Commission called for public comment by 31 January on draft guidelines proposing the procedures to be followed:
- when a consumer protection group applies for accreditation, and
- when an application is assessed.
- Also on 10 December, the Consumer Commission called for public comment on proposed amendments to the automotive industry code of conduct, setting the deadline at 9 January (which, given the festive season break, may need to be extended).
- The Competition Commission has published a report on ‘levels and trends’ in market concentration and participation. A presentation on the report:
- noted the need for co-operation between the regulators and public entities ‘responsible for issuing … licenses and concessions’, especially in the context of ‘ownership transfers’, and
- alluded to ‘a range of new initiatives’ now being considered to tackle areas of market concentration.
- The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has published a ‘base case report’:
- as the next step in developing a ‘gas master plan roadmap’
- expected to ‘serve as a policy instrument’, and
- developed to inform the process of taking ‘strategic, political and institutional decisions’ intended to ‘guide industry investment planning and co-ordinated implementation’.
- On 30 December 2021, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zulu issued a media statement confirming Cabinet’s decision to further relax certain restrictions.
- Amendments to the disaster management regulations for adjusted lockdown level one were gazetted the same day and came into effect immediately:
- lifting the curfew
- increasing the maximum number of people allowed to attend gatherings, and
- permitting the sale of alcohol for off-site and on-site consumption ‘as per normal licence provisions’.
Prepared by Pam Saxby
About this blog
"That week in Parliament" is a series of blog posts in which the important Parliamentary events of the week are discussed.