The Committee met in order to hold a virtual public hearing on the Western Cape Laws Repeal Bill [B5-2019]. The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Development by the Speaker in line with standing rule 173 (a) of the WCPP. The Bill was referred to the Committee on 7 November 2019 and was published in the Government Gazette for 21 days from 9 December to 24 January 2020 for public comments. No comments were received at that stage. Due to the appointment process of the Western Cape Commission for Children, this was deemed urgent and the Committee decided to finalise the appointment of the Commissioner first before considering the Western Cape Laws Repeal Bill.
On 2 June 2020, the Committee was briefed by the Department of Social Development on the Bill but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee took a resolution to hold a virtual public hearing on the Bill. In terms of public participation, the Bill was advertised in the mainstream and community newspapers during the week of 25 to 29 June and in addition to this, a notice for all public hearings was emailed to municipalities and relevant stakeholders.
In its presentation, the Western Cape Department of Social Development briefed Members on the context of the repeal legislation and the legislative process undertaken. The laws to be repealed included the Aged Person Act (1967) and the National Welfare Act (1978).
There were no comments from the public in the meeting.
The Committee adopted the Bill, clause-by-clause, the motion of desirability and Report on the Bill with no amendments or objections.
The Chairperson opened the meeting and took participants through the policy for virtual meetings – all mics were to be muted when not speaking and the chat function is to be used for points of order.
The purpose of the meeting was to hold a virtual public hearing on the Western Cape Laws Repeal Bill [B5-2019]. The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Social Development by the Speaker in line with standing rule 173 (a) of the WCPP. The Bill was referred to the Committee on 7 November 2019 and was published in the Government Gazette for 21 days from 9 December to 24 January 2020 for public comments. No comments were received at that stage. Due to the appointment process of the Western Cape Commissioner for Children, this was deemed urgent and the Committee decided to finalise the appointment of the Commissioner first before considering the Western Cape Laws Repeal Bill.
On 2 June 2020, the Committee was briefed by the Department of Social Development on the Bill but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee took a resolution to hold a virtual public hearing on the Bill and provide oral submission/comments on the Bill. In terms of public participation, the Bill was advertised in the mainstream and community newspapers during the week of 25 to 29 June and in addition to this, a notice for all public hearings was emailed to municipalities and relevant stakeholders.
The Western Cape Department of Social Development would be invited to make its presentation again for the benefit of the public in attendance. Thereafter public comments would be taken.
Public Hearing on the Western Cape Laws Repeal Bill (B-5): Presentation to the Standing Committee on Social Development
The document was presented by Ms Marion Johnson, the Chief Director: Business Planning and Strategy, Western Cape Department of Social Development.
This presentation provided context for the Repeal Bill and highlighted the legislative processes that were undertaken. During 2010, a Western Cape Legislative review project was implemented, aimed at reviewing provincial legislation for constitutionality, redundancy and obsoleteness.
The two pieces of legislation that were identified for repeal were the Aged Persons Act of 1967 and the National Welfare Act of 1978. The fundamental process that was followed included Cabinet approval to draft the Bill, it was gazetted and approved for publication for public comment. The Department did not receive any comment on the proposed Bill and in November, the Provincial Cabinet approved the introduction of the Bill into the Provincial Parliament. The Bill was certified in August 2019 and introduced to the Provincial Parliament in November 2019.
The Aged Persons Act made provisions for the protection and welfare of certain aged and rehabilitated persons, it established legislation for certain institutions for accommodation and care, and for the payment of old age pensions and certain allowances. The administration of the Act, with the exception of three sections, was assigned to the provinces by a Presidential proclamation. However, on 1 April 2010, the Older Persons Act of 2006 took effect and is the current legislation that regulates the position of older persons in the country. This Act repealed sections which are both assigned and not assigned to the province in terms of the Aged Persons Act. It is because of this that the Aged Persons Act is considered to be redundant legislation still on the statute books of the province and therefore needs to be repealed to the extent of its assignment to the province.
The National Welfare Act of 1978 defines the functions and powers of welfare boards and provides for welfare programmes and the registration of welfare organisations. The Act was also assigned to the provinces by Presidential proclamation seven of 1966 but some sections were excluded.
The sections that were not assigned to the provinces in terms of this Act were repealed by section 13 of the Advisory Board on Social Development Act. This Act has however not yet taken effect. Although it is not yet in effect, is does not affect the competence of the Western Cape to repeal the National Welfare Act to the extent of its assignment to the province. At this point, the National Welfare Act does not carry any practical utility since the regional boards contemplated do not exist and matters concerning the funding of welfare organisations are currently regulated by other pieces of legislation. It is because of this that it is recommended that the National Welfare Act be repealed to the extent of its assignment to the province.
The Bill that is currently under consideration contains two clauses. Clause One is the schedule of the legislation that is to be repealed, and Clause Two states the laws that are specified in the second column of the schedule being repealed to the extent that it is indicated in the third column. The Bill seeks to repeal the Aged Persons Act and the National Welfare Act to the extent of the assignment of the Western Cape province.
The Chairperson thanked the Department and asked the Committee and members of the public present in the meeting if they would like to make any oral submissions.
Ms N Makamba-Botya (EFF) wanted to know what the two Bills entail and sought more clarity on the reasons for revoking the two Acts and removing them from the statute books.
The Chairperson said that the legislation being replaced are old pieces of legislation that has subsequently been replaced by newer legislation, and this is the reason why sections of the two Acts are being repealed.
Ms Makamba-Botya said that she wanted to know what the Bills entailed prior to the point at which they were to be repealed, and what do the new sections entail. She wanted this question to be answered in layman’s terms.
Ms Shehnaz Seria, Legal Advisor from the Department of the Premier, said that these two pieces of legislation have been superseded by newer Acts. Everything that is contained in the Aged Persons Act and the National Welfare Act, for example, are being catered for in newer pieces of legislation. So what is happening in the Department is that there is actually a clean-up of the statute books and legislation that is no longer being used, legislation that is no longer relevant and legislation that is being superseded by newer, more modern pieces of legislation. This old legislation is being revoked and once they are revoked they will no longer be on the statute books on both a provincial and national level. This is a very technical process, and the statute books are being cleaned up to avoid confusion amongst people who want to look and find out which legislation applies to them. It is essentially to create certainty and clarity within the law.
Mr Charles Jordan, Chief Director: Social Welfare, Western Cape Department of Social Development, said that in the Aged Persons Act, the provisions looked exclusively at the rights of accommodation of older persons in institutions. It also provided older persons with the right to access pension. The Act which replaces this Aged Persons Act now includes the rights of all older persons in South Africa, not just those in institutions, it includes provisions which protect older persons against abuse and it also looks at various issues as community based service centres, which was not covered in the previous Act.
Ms Makamba-Botya thanked the Department officials for the explanations and said that her questions were answered satisfactorily.
The Chairperson asked for further input from the Committee and from members of the public. No further input was given.
The Chairperson moved on to the second item on the agenda.
Consideration of the Western Cape Laws Repeal Bill [B5-2019]
The Chairperson said that there were no written or verbal submissions as far the Bill was concerned.
The Chairperson proceeded to read the motion of desirability, and put each clause of the legislation forth for consideration.
There were no objections to any of the clauses being repealed. The short title and the long title of the legislation were agreed to. The entire Bill was agreed to with no amendments.
Moving on to the formal stage, the Chairperson put forth each clause of the legislation for the Committee to consider.
There were no objections made to any of the clauses of the legislation. There were no objections raised in respect of the short and long title of the legislation.
The Chairperson read the Committee Report which was to be adopted.
The Report was adopted with no objections or amendments.
Mr Ben Daza, Chief Procedural Officer, Western Cape Provincial Parliament, noted that the Chairperson had not adopted the motion of desirability.
The Chairperson read the motion of desirability again.
This was adopted without any objections.
The Chairperson thanked the Committee and everyone present in the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.