National Water Bill: deliberations

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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

25 MAY, 98

The Portfolio Committee continued with its deliberation of the National Water Bill. The committee is at a stage in the process where amendments, proposals and concerns have been raised by the committee and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. These have been compiled and are now all being returned to and either agreed on or being marked for returning to. In this meeting the department continued with the amendments, proposals and concerns, starting at clause 102, and going until the end of the bill. The next meeting dealing with the National Water Bill, to be held on the 28 May, will involve going through the outstanding issues noted. A final mandate will be given to the Advocate Kelner to produce a final draft which will be voted on by the committee the following Monday.

The following clauses were discussed today:
Clause 102. The department suggested an amendment, which would add " in consultation with Cabinet". This is to ensure that the financial implications are considered.

Clause 103, 1, An additional subparagraph will be added (d), referring to items which would apply in terms of schedule 4, if any.

Clause 106. A copy of the report should be lodged in Parliament, and the department will supply the necessary amendment.

Clause 110,1 (b). A cross-reference was added to the Environmental Conservation Act.
. The department suggested an amendment in which any waterworks erected in an emergency will need to be evaluated within 2 years, as to whether it will be dismantled, or undergo and impact assessment as per subclause 1.

Clause 115. A member of the committee had previously requested that any person wishing to buy a government waterworks be a citizen, or a member of the party should be a citizen. The department strongly opposed this amendment, and the issue will be returned to.

Clause 116. A proposal was made to amend the heading. Paragraph e was requested to be removed by the department as it trespassed on the competence of other departments or provinces, and may have impacts on the Bill being flagged a section 75 bill. The DG added that the protection of the flora and fauna, as envisaged would be negotiated with provincial conservation agencies, provision for which was covered in the Bill.

Clause 117. The Department agreed to strengthen the section on recreational safety in clause 116, in response to a members concern for a lack of security in this clause. An amendment to clause 117 was agreed to in which the word "and" at the end of c, 1 would be replaced with "or".

Clause 123. A new paragraph (d) would be added in which if a dam was declared a safety risk, monitoring of the dam was required by the owner.

Clause 127. Sub clause 2. A clarifying amendment was suggested.

Clause 131. "Systems" replaced the word "network"

Clause 144. The department in response to the concern would make amendments in suggestions 145.

Clause 145. The department would return to the issue of its responsibilities in terms of flood lines.

Clause 146. Returning to a previous concern, Advocate Kelner was requested to approach the National Judicial council to accept the role of the Selection Panel. There was constitutional mandate for the council to be assigned responsibilities under national legislation. The word "expertise" was requested to be replaced by "knowledge".

Clause 148. Substantial amendments had been previously tabled by the department, deleting the clause as it stands and adding a list specifying circumstances in which appeals could be heard.

At the end of the meeting the chair outlined the process to be followed from here, as outlined at the beginning of this summary.


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