31 July 2020

Government Legislative Priorities 2020


Over the past couple of weeks, government Ministers appeared before Parliament to present departmental Budget Speeches, as part of the processing of the Adjustments Appropriation Bill (2020). During these deliveries, some of them spoke about their legislative priorities for their respective portfolios.

The current virtual parliament is well equipped to process the government’s legislative agenda

We highlight the proposed bills below:

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

“We will furthermore strengthen our regulatory framework, the following Bills will be submitted for consideration by Parliament 2020:

(a) Plant Health (Phytosanitary) Bill;

(b) Agricultural Produce Agencies Amendment Bill;

(c) Agricultural Product Standards Amendment Bill;

(d) Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework (PDALF) Bill; and

(e) The Upgrade of Land Tenure Rights Amendment Bill.


Basic Education

“To cater for the two years of ECD prior to Grade 1, section 3 on compulsory attendance of the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996) is in the process of being amended through the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill, to cater for the compulsory attendance – first, in Grade RR by learners turning five.”


Employment and Labour

“Whilst the passage of the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill was stalled by the 2019 elections, the Bill is still very much alive, and has been prioritized for legislation in the current session of Parliament.”

“The 2019/20 Employment Equity Annual Report again reflected the slow pace of transformation in the workplace for blacks, women and people with disabilities. It was with this in mind that the Employment Equity Amendment Bill, 2019 was approved by Cabinet in February 2020. The Bill empowers the Minister of Employment and Labour to regulate sector specific Employment Equity numerical targets, and to prescribe criteria for the issuing of an Employment Equity Certificate of Compliance as a prerequisite for accessing state contracts.”


Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

“Work also continues on our Climate Change Bill with processes in Nedlac hopefully reaching conclusion in August, so we can still submit to this House before the end of the current financial year.”

“Of crucial importance at this point in time is to stabilise our Aquaculture sector and the 4 875 jobs it currently sustains. In this regard we are finalising consultations on the Aquaculture Bill so that we provide policy certainty without over-regulation. We hope to bring this Bill to the house next year.”



“Before this pandemic descended on our shores, we were building a road towards Universal Health Coverage through our democratic process of deliberating the National Health Insurance Bill.

In his State of the Nation Address earlier this year, His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa reiterated the purpose of NHI by stating that a “fundamental condition for growth and development is a healthy and productive population, with access to quality and affordable health care”. We continue to put great effort to improving health service delivery and prepare for NHI to achieve universal health coverage.”


Higher Education, Science and Technology

“In April 2019, the draft Central Application Service Bill was published for public comments. In this financial year, we will begin with the pilot of the CAS for the 2022 Academic year and at the same time finalise the required legislation to be considered by parliament following the review based on public comments received.”


Justice and Correctional Services

“Soon, Honourable Members, we will be seized with three pieces of legislation which further seek to address Gender Based Violence. These will amend the National Sexual Offenders Register, the Domestic Violence Act, and Regulate bail conditions for people who are accused of committing a sexual offence.”

“We will also be introducing the Land Court Bill with the aim of establishing a Land Court, which replaces the Land Claims Court in the current system. Under this bill, the Land Court will have the jurisdiction to deal with certain identified national laws which have a bearing on land and also promote and provide for Alternative Dispute Resolution structures similar to those of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). This special court will play a critical role in land jurisprudence.”


Mineral Resources and Energy

“Nuclear Policy: The Minister will soon publish the National Nuclear Regulator Amendment Bill and the Radioactive Waste Management Fund Bill for public comment.”

“The Gas Amendment Bill will be tabled in Parliament soon. This Bill prioritises infrastructure investment by, among others, constructing infrastructure to import liquefied natural gas and increasing exploration to find domestic gas feedstock to diversify the energy mix and reduce carbon emissions.”

“With regards to the Upstream Petroleum Bill which was published last December for public comments, consultations with a broad range of stakeholders that is industry players, NGOs, government and others have been held. This Bill will be tabled in Parliament this financial year.”



“The Civilian Secretariat of Police (CSPS) is currently at an advanced stage of the finalisation of key legislation and regulations that will assist in facilitating a conducive environment for national stability and economic recovery. These include the finalisation of the South African Police Service Act Amendment Bill; Firearms Control Amendment Bill; Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Bill; and Regulations for the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act.”


Small Business Development

“Honourable Members, we remain committed to table the Small Enterprise Ombudsman Services Bill to provide a less costly dispute resolution mechanism.”


Social Development

“We intend to table key pieces of legislation to this House in the current financial year. These include the Children’s Amendment Bill, Fundraising Bill, Non-Profit Organisations Bill and the Social Assistance Bill. We are finalising the White Paper on Social Policy which will serve as the cornerstone of the Social Policy Act to speed up change in the lives of our people.”


Sports, Arts and Culture

“We have noted the referral back to Parliament of the two pieces of legislation Copyright Amendment Bill and Performers Protection Bill by the President. We hope that Parliament is going to prioritize these bills.”

“We are still committed to ensure that the National Sport and Recreation Bill is attended too by this Parliament in the current financial year.”



“To that effect, due to the inherent delays in milestones for the current financial year, the target to develop the National Rail Bill this financial year has been deferred. The output is impacted by the anticipated non-approval of the Rail Policy in the current financial year, which remains a critical milestone towards the drafting of the National Rail Bill.”

“The target to submit the Air Services Bill to Cabinet this financial year has been deferred.  Targets for the development of the South African Search and Rescue (SASAR) Amendment Bill and Aviation Safety Investigation Board (ASIB) have also been deferred.”


Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

“You will recall that, in my budget speech last year I committed to re-introduce the Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEGE) Bill and have submitted this to the Head of Government Business. However, due to the challenges of corona virus, all Departments have been asked to reprioritise the number of Bills that must be tabled in Parliament in 2020. The WEGE Bill will now be reintroduced in the 2021/22 financial year.



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