The Committee considered submissions from various organizations on the amendments to the Promotion of Acccess to Information Act (PAIA). No further amendments to the Bill were proposed, and with no objections of abstentions, the report was adopted.
The Committee was advised that in terms of the National Prosecuting Authority Act 32 of 1998, the removal of Adv Jiba as Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions, and Adv Mrwebi, as Special Director of Public Prosecutions, at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), was recommended. The report was unanimously accepted.
Promotion of Access to Information Bill: Department of Justice Response
The Chairperson said that the Bill had received seven submissions from various organizations, and asked for the Department of Justice’s (DoJ’s) response.
Mr Henk du Preez, State Law Advisor: Department of Justice, took the Committee through the document, summarising the proposals of the following organisations:
- The Banking Association of South Africa (BASA);
- The Helen Suzman Foundation;
- The Centre for Applied Legal Studies;
- Joham B Hickman;
- The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU);
The recommendations were technical and legal in nature, such as BASA’s concern that a private body may include a political party, instead of it being seen as a public body.
Further recommendations included the Helen Suzman Foundation’s comment that a positive duty be created for accounting officers to record and preserve information related to the private funding of political parties.
Another concern raised by “My Vote Counts” and amaBhungane was that independent candidates were not subject to the Political Party Funding Act.
Mr Du Preez explained to the Committee, as outlined in the document, why these and other concerns raised, had already been covered by the Act.
The Chairperson asked if there were comments, and there were none.
The Chairperson said if they were happy with the responses, they could move to the next agenda item.
He said that initially the Committee had planned to meet on Friday, but the majority of Members were not available, so they would adopt the report today on the outcomes of the discussion. Members had been sent a draft report on the amendments, and they were saying they would adopt this bill without any amendments. The draft report gave the background, with submissions attached to the document. The summary was in the report itself. No further amendments to the Bill were proposed, and with no objections of abstentions, the report was adopted.
Report on restoration to office of Adv Jiba and Adv Mrwebi
The Committee was advised that in terms of the National Prosecuting Authority Act 32 of 1998, the removal of Adv Jiba as Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions and Adv Mrwebi, as Special Director of Public Prosecutions, at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), was recommended.
The Chairperson said that they had deliberated on the matter the day before, and today they would deal with the report. She read excerpts from the report and read the recommendations on the last page.
She asked the Members for any additions to the report, and as there were none, she moved its adoption.
There were no objections or abstentions, and the Committee unanimously adopted the report.
The Chairperson said the Committee would be considering some of their Bills on 4 December, such as the Border Management Authority Bill and the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) Amendment bill. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) matter would also be considered on that day. They still had the Hydrographic Bill on the table. Next week, the Committee intended to go to the hydrographic office on Tuesday.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Banking Association of South Africa (BASA
- Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) submission
- My Vote Counts (MVC) submission
- Helen Suzman Foundation submission
- Centre for Applied Legal Studies submission
- Summary of Submissions on Promotion of Access to Information Amendment [Committee] Bill and Responses Thereto