The Parliamentary Legal Advisor briefed the Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and Environment on the amendments to the Climate Change Bill [B9-2022] – called the A-list.
The Committee considered the minor amendments to some of the clauses, and adopted the final version of the A-list. They agreed to meet the next day to deal with the B-list.
The Chairperson welcomed all the Members of the Committee, as well as representatives from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), to the meeting.
Ms H Winkler (DA) moved the adoption of the agenda. Mr N Paulsen (EFF) seconded.
The Chairperson said that the meeting was a continuation of their previous meeting. They would be dealing with the consideration and adoption of the Climate Change Bill [B9-2022]
Consideration of A-List
Ms Thiloshini Gangen, Parliamentary Legal Adviser, said that at the Committee's last meeting, they had undertaken to finalise the A-list and send it to Creda for their proofs. They had since received copies of proofs, but some matters that were not supposed to have been included were put in, so there had been a bit of back and forth. However, they had now finalised their A-list with Creda.
She said she would go through the minor amendments with the Committee. They received the B-list after hours the previous day. They would therefore need to proofread it, and the legal team would spend the day doing just that.
Ms Gangen drew attention to the following clauses:
Clause 1: Creda had inadvertently left out semicolons after the definition of the national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions profiles, so after the last word "sinks," they had inserted a semicolon. They also omitted to put a semicolon after the definition of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), which had now been inserted. In the definition of the word "resilience" on the second line, they had taken out the word "of" and replaced it with the word "and."
Clause 7: On page 8. after the word "policies," they had just corrected the inverted commas in the wrong direction. Also, under Clause 7 (4a), after the words "Presidential Climate Commission," there was an "and" which they had now deleted.
Clause 22: On page 13, they had inserted a paragraph b), and in the second last line, they had deleted the word "are" and replaced it with the word "is."
Clause 27: After the insertion of subsection 4, after the word "Parliament," they had inserted inverted comas, with a full stop.
She said those were the only minor amendments they had made, resulting in the final version that the Committee received.
The Chairperson asked the Members whether the highlighted changes represented the Committee's views.
Mr D Bryant (DA) confirmed that those were, to an extent, cosmetic changes, and in his understanding, there were no material differences to the Bill. He had no issues with them.
The Chairperson said that the views of the Committee were therefore represented in the A-List, but questioned whether there was a need to adopt it again.
Mr Bryant said that this was a new document which had gone through a different process, so there had been a couple of changes, and in his opinion, they needed to adopt the current version.
Ms T Mchunu (ANC) agreed with Mr Bryant that the Committee needed to adopt it as the final A-List.
Ms Gangen confirmed that this was the final A-list, and it made no difference if the changes were not substantive. It still needed to be adopted by the Committee.
Adoption of final A-list
The Chairperson asked the Members to move for the adoption of the final A-list.
Ms N Gantsho (ANC) moved for the adoption, and Ms Mchunu seconded.
The Chairperson asked if there were any objections, but there were none.
Mr Bryant asked whether they were going to do clause-by-clause deliberations on the Bill.
Ms Gangen responded that they would be taking a day to deal with the B-list, and once that was in order, the Committee would do a clause-by-clause deliberation on the B-list. The Committee had already adopted the A-list, so that had been done.
The Chairperson asked whether they could deal with the B-list.
Ms Gangen said that as the B-list had been sent by Creda only after hours the day before, the legal team, the state law advisor, herself and the DFFE would need to go through the entire B-list before the Committee dealt with it.
Mr Bryant agreed that the legal team needed to look at the B-list before presenting it to the Committee.
The Chairperson said it was his view that they should have received a copy of the B list so that when they met, they would have already gone through the B-list themselves.
The Committee agreed to meet the next day at 11h30 to deal with the B-list.
The meeting was adjourned.
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