From the Government Gazette and Media Statements (13 November 2023)
CHILDREN’S AMENDMENT ACT
- Most sections of the Children’s Amendment Act, 2022, came into force on 8 November 2023 by presidential proclamation in the Government Gazette. This is noting that the Act’s purpose is to give effect to a 2017 Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) order requiring the Department of Social Development to find a comprehensive legal solution to foster care provision and administration challenges.
- Two days later, amendments to sections of the 2010 general regulations came into force, among other things:
- requiring the Director-General of the Department of Social Development to prepare and ensure the implementation of a quality assurance framework for all child protection services, childcare services, related organisations, and adoption social workers
- prescribing the manner in which a child needing care and protection should be placed, as well as the procedures to be followed
- requiring child services to be monitored and supervised ‘as contemplated in the Act’
- prescribing the procedures to be followed when arranging for a child in alternative care to leave South Africa, and
- in terms of transitional arrangements, allowing a foster care order not extended in terms of section 159 of the Act and therefore lapsing after 11 November 2023 but before 30 June 2024 to be deemed valid until 30 June 2024.
INTERIM PROTECTION OF INFORMAL LAND RIGHTS ACT
- In the absence of more appropriate legislation, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development gazetted a notice extending the applicability of the 1996 Act for another year.
- The Department of Social Development called for public comment on a draft policy intended to facilitate the more effective prevention and treatment of disorders related to substance abuse. Issues explored include:
- institutional capacity for post-treatment aftercare and support
- post-treatment social and labour market reintegration
- reducing the demand for habit-forming substances (including those legally available), and
- ‘restructuring’ the Central Drug Authority/Alcohol & Drug Advisory Council.
CITIZENSHIP, IMMIGRATION, AND REFUGEE PROTECTION
- The Department of Home Affairs released a draft White Paper on citizenship, immigration, and refugee protection for public comment. The document forms part of a broader process intended to culminate in a ‘complete overhaul’ of South Africa’s ‘migration system’. To that end, policy proposals include:
- withdrawing from the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and related 1967 protocol, with a view to acceding to them with reservations, as other countries cited in the document have done, and
- amending the prevailing legislation to provide for those reservations, as well as for exceptions reflected in the 1969 AU Convention on Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa.
- The South African Anti-Money Laundering Integrated Task Force published a report prepared by its Corruption Expert Working Group and informed by multiple case studies. The report includes recommendations for:
- addressing ‘the vulnerability of public procurement tender processes to corruption’, and
- curbing the ‘irregular’ practice of awarding tenders to individuals in ‘corrupt political networks’.
- The Financial Intelligence Centre drew attention to a statement issued by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force on jurisdictions under increased monitoring, including South Africa. Among other things, the statement urges the authorities to increase their efforts in:
- responding to outbound mutual legal assistance requests (to help facilitate investigations and asset confiscation)
- conducting investigations into and prosecution for ‘serious and complex money laundering’, as well as ‘the full range of terrorist financing activities’, and
- identifying, seizing, and confiscating the ‘proceeds and instrumentalities of a wider range of predicate crimes’.
ROAD ACCIDENT FUND
- The Department of Transport gazetted proposed adjustments to medical tariffs under the Road Accident Fund Act, 1996, for public comment.
GAME MEAT STRATEGY
- The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment published a national strategy for game meat intended to facilitate collaboration between all stakeholders in their efforts to ensure that game meat products:
- are ‘naturally, sustainably and ethically’ produced with minimal impact on the environment and biodiversity
- ‘contribute to conservation and rural livelihoods’, and
- are of high quality, safe, traceable, and comply with all relevant regulatory frameworks.
Prepared by Pam Saxby
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"That week in Parliament" is a series of blog posts in which the important Parliamentary events of the week are discussed.