Legal Metrology Bill: Negotiating Mandates

NCOP Trade & Industry, Economic Development, Small Business, Tourism, Employment & Labour

19 February 2014
Chairperson: Mr D Gamede (KwaZulu-Natal) (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee voted on the Legal Metrology Bill. The only concerns on the Bill related to the lack of inspectors, the impact of the lack of inspectors on implementation and monitoring, the need for standardisation markings and noncompliant products. These concerns were then responded to by the team of legal advisors who pointed out where these concerns were addressed in the Bill. All but one Member expressed frustration with the delay of approving the Bill stating that if it was not done today that it should be handled by the next administration. This did not happen, however, as the Bill was unanimously passed by the Committee.

Meeting report

The Chairperson opened the meeting by asking Members what they would like to say regarding the Bill.

Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature
Ms D Rantho (ANC, Eastern Cape) said she was in favour of the Bill.

Mr P Govender, Kwazulu-Natal MPL, IFP, indicated his concerns which were raised during public hearings. These concerns were related to the lack of inspectors. Implementation and monitoring become an issue when there was a deficiency of inspectors and officers. The NCI needed identification marks on equipment, symbolising that equipment had been standardised and approved. There was also a need to identify and lock out noncompliant products in infrastructure.

Gauteng Provincial Legislature
Ms B Abrahams (DA, Gauteng) was in favour of the Bill.

The Chairperson was in favour of the Bill.

Western Cape
Mr F Adams (ANC, Western Cape) was in favour of the Bill.

Ms Charmaine van der Merwe, parliamentary legal advisor, stated that Mr Govender’s concerns were addressed in the Bill. She reassured the Committee that although the explicit term “quality control” was not used in the Bill, it was taking place. She referred to the verification officer’s powers and pointed out that contained in clause 25(3) were a list of duties which amounted to the same thing as “quality control.” She also reassured Mr Govender that “employment contracts” were addressed in the Bill, along with the “search and seizure” concerns.

The Chairperson emphasised that if there were amendments to be made, the Bill should be dropped until elections were over, seeing as how it would take excessive time to continually address concerns. He pushed for the Bill to be adopted.

Ms Rantho felt the meeting should be adjourned because provinces had to go through a strenuous process to consider Bills and that there was too much work which needed to be done before the end of this fourth parliamentary term.

Mr Adams suggested the Department hold amendments to the Bill and bring it into the next administration. 

Ms van der Merwe reassured Members that the main concerns were addressed in the Bill and other amendments were technical and minor.

The Chairperson asked if there was anything else.

Mr Adams told Mr Govender that his concerns were covered in the Bill. He asked that the Committee proceed with adopting the Bill.

The Chairperson asked Mr Govender if he had any problem with moving forward.

Mr Govender retracted his concerns noting that they were addressed. He approved with moving forward.

The Chairperson stated that enough had been done regarding the Bill, further amendments would not be taken and the Committee supported the Bill in its current form.

The meeting was adjourned.


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