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PRIVATE MEMBERS LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL AND SPECIAL PETITIONS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
2 April 2003
LEON'S PARDON INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE BILL; BELL'S MEDICAL SCHEMES AMENDMENT BILL; GIBSON'S PUBLIC FUNDING OF REPRESENTED POLITICAL PARTIES BILL; SEMPLE'S PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL EVICTION AND UNLAWFUL OCCUPATION OF LAND AMENDMENT BILL; CAMERER'S MEMORANDUM TO AMEND THE CHILD CARE ACT; BROWN'S PETITION; BOTHA'S PETITION
Chairperson: Mr PAC Hendrikse (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Ms Semple's Memorandum to Amend the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation of Land Amendment Bill (Appendix 1)
Ms Camerer's Memorandum to Amend the Child Care Act (Appendix 2)
Statement by Ms Camerer : Criminalise Trafficking in Children (Appendix 3)
Draft Bill to amend the Child Care Act, 1983 (Appendix 4)
Mr Tony Leon's Pardon Investigation Procedure Bill
The Committee dealt with the way forward on a number of private Member's bills, petitions and the envisaged overseas study tour. It was decided that Mr Leon should personally present his proposals on the Pardon Investigation Procedure Bill since it is the standing rule of the Committee that the Member who proposed an amendment should motivate for it personally. The Committee also agreed that a proviso should be inserted giving the Labour Ministry a timeframe to respond to the Medical Scheme Bill that was referred to it. Ms Semple's proposal would be deferred until the proposed legislation that the Department of Housing intends to submit to Parliament has been considered. With regard to the Child Care Act amendment Ms Camerer would be invited to make her presentation before a decision could be taken on the matter. The Committee agreed to close Mr Brown's issue as his pension has been increased by 12.5%.
Pardon Investigation Procedure Bill by Mr Leon
The Chair informed Members that Mr T Leon (DA) requested the Committee to allow Adv H Schmidt (DA) to make the presentation on his behalf. However he said that he told Adv Schmidt that there is a ground rule that was developed by the Committee, which required the petitioner to come and present the petition personally. The matters is raised by a Member in their individual capacity and not as an organisation.
Mr S Mshudulu (ANC) noted that it is important for the Committee to reiterate its principles so that even the new Members could understand them. The reason behind this principle is to have the Member, personally, motivating for the issues raised in the petition so as to afford the Committee a benefit to make an informed decision. Since Mr Leon raised issues which are deemed to be of national interest, he should come and motivate them personally.
Adv H Schmidt noted that he understood the reason behind the principle. However, there is no written rule preventing a Member from making such a presentation on behalf of another Member. He therefore appealed to the Committee to understand Mr Leon's request, which was based on logic since he was not present in the country at the moment.
Mr A Ainslie (ANC) said that although there was no written rule in this regard, it is a standing rule of the Committee to have a Member who lodged a petition given an opportunity to motive it personally.
The Chair said that the Committee acknowledged the reason behind Mr Leon's unavailability to make his own presentation. However, for the sake of consistency the Committee was of the view that the principle that the petitioner should come and motive personally should be upheld.
Adv Schmidt requested that the Committee Clerk contact Mr Leon's office to determine when he would be available to come and make his presentation before the Committee since this matter cannot stand for too long.
Mr Mshudulu proposed that the Committee establish a process by which all matters that it had dealt with are noted so that it could avoid carrying them over to another financial year.
The Chair acknowledged this and noted that when the Committee comes back in the second term it would have to discuss its modus operandi.
Medical Schemes Amendment Bill by Mr Bell
The Chair noted that this matter was referred to the Labour Ministry since it was felt to be a labour matter. A response from the Labour has not yet been received and therefore the issue had to be deferred.
Mr Mshudulu said that the Department has been given enough time to consider this matter and the Committee should not allow anyone to delay its progress. He therefore proposed that the Committee should request the Department's response by setting a timeframe.
Mr M Da Camara (DA) concurred with the latter speaker and noted that a precedent on the timeframe was laid in the previous meeting when the patent issue was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Health and its Department.
Mr Ainslie agreed with the two latter speakers and further proposed that a follow up should be made to find out what the Department has done with this matter.
Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Bill by Mr Gibson
The Chair noted that no comment has been received from political parties on this matter. However, the Committee Clerk should distribute the comment received from IDASA to all Members so that the Committee could consider this matter in its next meeting.
Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation of Land Amendment Bill by Ms Semple
The Chair noted that the Committee has received a letter from the Department of Housing informing it that the Department has prepared a draft Bill on this matter. The Bill would be submitted to Cabinet for approval. It would therefore be necessary for the matter to be held in abeyance until it has been dealt with.
The Committee agreed that Ms Semple should be informed of these new developments and also be given a copy of the letter.
Memorandum on the Amendment of Child Care Act by Ms Camerer
The Chair noted that the Committee has received a memorandum from Ms S Camerer (DA) who proposed that the Child Care Act, 1983, to render trafficking in children an offence. The matter would be deferred to allow Ms Camerer to be given an opportunity to make the presentation.
Mr BD Brown's Petition
The Chair noted that he had met with the Treasury where he was informed that there are facilities available which Mr Brown can exploit in order to have his pension increased. He then requested the Treasury to inform Mr Brown to pursue those avenues and thereafter inform him on its outcomes. He was thereafter informed that Mr Brown, in terms of the medical rule, was able to qualify for an additional increase of 12.5% in conjunction to the 7% increase that was received by all pensioners.
Mr Mshudulu said that it would be important for the Committee to get hold of those rules that the Medical Officers has used in this case so that it could be able to use them in similar cases that might arise in the future.
The Committee agreed that since Mr Brown has been assisted the matter would be considered as resolved. However, Members were disappointed about the lack of assistance that it received from the Military and said that this should be noted in the Committee's report to Parliament.
Ms M Botha's Petition
The Chair informed Members that Treasury was not aware of the fact that Parliament had approved Ms Botha's petition. Parliament's approval would be forwarded to the Department so they could look into this matter.
The Chair noted that this matter should be deferred since the Committees' Chairpersons are still engaged with the Chair of Chairpersons' Committee.
Committee's Overseas Study Tour
The Committee Clerk presented feedback on the research undertaken on the availability of New Zealand and Australian Parliaments during the winter recess.
The Chair noted that he would communicate with the Speaker on the feasibility of the Committee undertaking those study tours and also expressed its frustration regarding the unequal treatment given to other parliamentary committees.
The meeting was adjourned.
PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL EVICTION FROM AND UNLAWFUL OCCUPATION OF LAND AMENDMENT BILL
Private Members' Bill
Submitted in terms of Section 73 (2)
Read with Section 76 (1) of the Constitution
Notice is hereby given of the introduction of a Private Members' Bill in terms of Section 73 (2) read with Section 76 (1) of the Constitution. In terms of rule 234 (read with rule 230 (1), a member must submit to the Speaker a memorandum which:
- sets out particulars of the proposed legislation
- explains the objects of the proposed legislation; and
- states whether the proposed legislation will have financial implications for the State and, if so, whether those implications may be a determining factor when the proposed legislation is considered.
- PARTICULARS OF PROPOSED LEGISLATION
The Honourable Speaker is requested to deal with this Bill in terms of Section 235 of the National Assembly Rules.
Prevention of Illegal Eviction From and Unlawful Occupation of Land Amendment Bill
To amend the definition of "unlawful occupier" in the Prevention of Illegal Eviction From and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, No 19 of 1998 so as to leave no doubt that the Act applies to squatters only and not to bond defaulters or tenants who fail to pay their rent.
- Amendment of Definition (xi) (Line 14 of the Act, No 19 of 1998)
1. The definition of "unlawful occupier" is amended by the insertion after the words "person who", where they appear in line 14 of the Act, of the words "initially occupied and still"
Thus the full, amended definition reads:
(xi) "unlawful occupier" means a person who initially occupied and still occupies land without the express or tacit consent of the owner or person in charge, or without any other right in law to occupy such land, excluding a person who is an occupier in terms of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act, 1997, and excluding a person whose informal right to land, but for the provisions of this Act, would be protected by the provisions of the Interim Protection of informal Land Rights Act, 1996 (Act No. 31 of 1996).
- THE OBJECTS OF THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION
The intended Bill has as object:
- To change the definition of "unlawful occupier" so that it is not open to different interpretations.
- To change the definition of "unlawful occupier" so as to leave no doubt that the intention of the Act will be to remove originally lawful occupiers from the definition of "unlawful occupiers" therefore providing protection for the rights of Landlords and Bond grantors.
- To create a more financially stable environment for landowners in South Africa.
- To ensure that all tenants are not prejudiced by being required to pay very large deposits when taking occupation of rented premises.
- To ensure that applicants for bond finance are not subjected to even more stringent financial hurdles before having access to bond assistance.
- FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS
The Legislation will have no financial implications.
Name of Member: Janet Semple
LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL ON TRAFFICKING IN CHILDREN: MEMORANDUM IN TERMS OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY RULE 234(1)
1.. The object of this legislative proposal is to make the trafficking in children a specific criminal offence.
2.. Trafficking in human beings for sexual or other exploitation is an abhorrent modern-day form of slavery. There is ample evidence that this phenomenon is one of the fastest growing areas of international criminal activity. Those trafficked are mostly women and children.
3.. Research conducted by the United Nations, Molo Songololo and others indicates that trafficking in children for sexual and other purposes is on the increase in South Africa. Furthermore, the country is increasingly becoming an established destination and transit point for international trafficking in children. Evidence is that the trade in children is often linked to illegal trade in drugs and weapons.
4.. Children in South African have the constitutionally guaranteed right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation, and Parliament has the obligation, rooted in the Constitution, to adopt legislative measures to protect that right. Existing legislation does not provide children with adequate protection against the evil of trafficking, and in fact does not specifically prohibit trafficking.
5.. The South African Law Commission has recently looked at the problem of trafficking, and in its Discussion Paper 103 on the Review of the Child Care Act Project the Commission recommends that a provision prohibiting the trafficking of children be included in a new comprehensive children's statute. However, since considerable time will no doubt elapse before such a statute is enacted by Parliament, and since effective and expeditious measures are urgently needed to combat trafficking, it is proposed that in the meantime the Child Care Act, 1983, be amended to provide the necessary protection to children.
6.. Particulars of the proposed legislation are set out in the attached draft bill. The proposals should be read with the existing provisions of the Child Care Act, 1983, in particular section 50A, which deals with the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
7.. The proposed legislation will have no financial implications for the state.
STATEMENT BY SHEILA CAMERER MP
CRIMINALIZE TRAFFICKING IN CHILDREN
Shocking reports that young girls can be bought for as little as R800, should serve as a wake-up call for the South African public.
According to SAPS statistics, it is estimated that there are over 28 000 child prostitutes in South Africa. The SAPS dealt with 38 000 cases of child prostitution in 1998 while 500 of Cape Town's 2 000 street sex workers are believed to be children.
There are warnings that child trafficking had become the third-largest profit-making criminal enterprise after drug and gunrunning, earning billions of dollars every year. According to the organization Mobilyn, South Africa's 17 million children make up 44% of the population, and more than 60% of these live in poverty. Poverty among black children is the worst at more than 70% and it is estimated that, despite child labour being illegal, more than 400 000 children work in South Africa, half of them under the age of 14.
On Friday 28 February the NNP submitted to Madame Speaker a Private Member's Bill to amend the Child Care Act to criminalize trafficking in children for the purposes of exploitation including commercial sexual exploitation. "Exploitation" is defined as including prostitution, pornography, forced labour or services, slavery or servitude.
The suggested amendment is to the Child Care Act. Because of the long delay in the new Sexual Offenses Bill coming to Parliament the NNP believes the growing problem of trafficking in children can be addressed through this amendment. The South African Law Commission had recommended that the new draft Sexual Offenses Bill include provisions outlawing such trafficking in women and children but apparently so far this has not been included in the draft legislation by the Department of Justice.
The NNP believes that in order to effectively combat trafficking a specific crime must be created, which currently does not exist in our law. At present legislation is fragmented and there is no specific legislation dedicated to trafficking, although South Africa is a signatory to international instruments addressing trafficking in women and children. The Private Member's Bill includes a clear definition of trafficking.
The NNP's suggestion has been submitted to coincide with the 47th meeting of the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women, which starts in New York next week. Trafficking in women and children is among the topics being put on the agenda by the South African delegation as a recent United Nations study has found that South Africa has become an important center for such trafficking in recent years.
Sheila Camerer MP
083 266 9493
GENERAL EXPLANATORY NOTE:
Words underlined with a solid line indicate insertions in existing enactments
To amend the Child Care Act, 1983, so as to criminalise the trafficking in children; and to provide for incidental matters.
BE IT ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, as follows:-
Amendment of section 1 of Act 74 of 1983
1. Section 1 of the Child Care Act, 1983, is hereby amended-
(a) by the insertion, after the definition of "district" of the following definition:
"'exploitation' includes prostitution, pornography, forced labour or services, slavery and servitude." and
(b) by the insertion, after the definition of "this Act" of the following definition:
"'traffickinq' means any act involving the recruitment, procurement. capture, removal, transportation, harbouring sale, disposal or receipt of a child for the purposes of exploitation, including commercial sexual exploitation,."
Insertion of section 5IA in Act 74 of 1983
2. The following section is hereby inserted in the Child Care Act, 1983, after section 51:
"Trafficking in children
51A. (1) Any person who participates or is involved in the trafficking in children shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
(2) Any person who has any knowledge or information of the occurrence of trafficking in children and who, within a reasonable time of gaining such knowledge or information, fails to report such occurrence at a police station, shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment".
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