Films and Publications Amendment Bill: finalisation

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Communications

21 November 2017
Chairperson: Mr H Maxegwana (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to adopt the Films and Publications Amendment Bill [B37-2015]. The Parliamentary Legal Advisor said that what appeared in the B version of the Bill considered every constitutional and legal concern of the Committee.

The DA wanted to offer an addition to the wording of the definition of commercial distributor, and on other matters, but was told that the B37-B version of the Bill was the product of the previous week’s deliberations and was agreed on by all. The DA’s objections however could be noted in the Committee Report on the Bill and the party could raise its concerns when the Bill appeared before the House. 

Having gone through the B version of the Bill clause by clause, the Committee adopted the Films and Publication Amendment Bill [B37-2015] with amendments.

Members asked that the legal opinion of the parliamentary legal services on the Media Development and Diversity Agency board be tabled at the next meeting. Members also asked if the Committee Report on the Films and Publication Amendment Bill would come before the House this term or the next. 

Meeting report

Clause by clause consideration and adoption of the Films and Publication Amendment Bill [B37-2015]

Ms Phumelele Ngema, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, said all concerns in clauses 8, 16 and 18, which Members had, raised were now covered and what appeared in the B version of the Bill considered every constitutional and legal concern of the Committee. She then went through the B Bill clause by clause.

On clause 1, on the definition of a commercial distributor, Ms P Van Damme (DA) offered an addition to the definition of commercial distributor. The addition was: ‘in relation to distributors whose primary business is that of the distribution of films, games’.

The Chairperson explained that the B version of the Bill was the product of the previous week’s deliberations and was agreed on by all. If the DA had issues, its objections could be noted. 

The Committee continued to go through the Bill clause by clause.

Ms Van Damme said there were other matters to be noted but she would raise them when the Bill came before the House. She would give her objections after all the clauses had been read for adoption.

The Committee then adopted all clauses of the Bill.

Ms Van Damme raised an objection that, on a philosophical level, she did not believe that government should be involved in regulation of the internet. She acknowledged the input by Committee Members and the legal team and that the Bill was a far better product than it had been. The DA’s concerns would be raised when the Bill was put before the House.

The Committee then adopted the Films and Publication Bill [B37-2015] with its amendments.

Committee Report on the Bill

The Committee Secretary read out the report on the Bill.

The report was approved by the Committee.

Adoption of Draft Committee Minutes

The Committee then adopted several sets of draft minutes from August to November 2017.

Other Matters

Ms Van Damme wanted the legal opinion of the legal services on the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) board be tabled at the next meeting.

The Chairperson said there had been a legal opinion, but he had requested that it be taken back and be further explained and processed before being presented to the Committee. The Committee was also supposed to receive advice as to what it needed to do on the two vacancies of the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board, that of Ms Nomvuyiso Batyi, and the other of Ms Rachel Kalidas.

Ms Van Damme asked if the Committee Report on the Films and Publication Amendment Bill would go to the House this term or the next.

The Chairperson said that the following week would be the last meeting for the year and he did not think that it would be done by this year, but that it had to be completed by the end of February 2018.

The meeting was adjourned

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