Forestry Laws Amendment Bill: adoption

Water and Sanitation

06 October 2005
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Meeting report

WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
7 October 2005
FORESTRY LAWS AMENDMENT BILL: ADOPTION

Chairperson: Ms C September (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Department briefing: Forestry Laws Amendment Bill
Forestry Amendment Bill [B24 – 2005]
Forestry Laws Amendment Bill [B24A – 2005] (Portfolio Committee Amendments)
Forestry Laws Amendment Bill [B24B – 2005] (Portfolio Committee Amendments incorporated into Bill)

SUMMARY
The Department provided an overview of the legislation being amended, the entities that had been consulted, the feedback from those consultations, and further minor changes and amendments to the Forestry Laws Amendment Bill. The Department had completed this task within thirty days. Consultation had been widespread and inclusive. All parties that had been consulted were satisfied with the provisions of the Bill. The purpose of the Bill was to ‘clean up’ old legislation. The Bill amended three separate Acts (the National Forests Act of 1998, the National Veld and Forest Fires Act of 1998, and the Wattle Bark Industry Act, 1960) within one Bill. Most of the amendments made were minor and of an editorial nature.

MINUTES
Department briefing
Ms J Kock, Department Deputy Director: Forestry Regulation, gave an overview of the legislation being amended, the entities that had been consulted, the feedback from those consultations, and further minor changes and amendments to the Bill. The Bill amended three separate Acts (the National Forests Act of 1998, the National Veld and Forest Fires Act of 1998, and the Wattle Bark Industry Act of 1960) within one Bill. She stated that the Bill process had been long and thorough. Organised groups and rural communities had been consulted. Consultations with communities, the Portfolio Committee and others had resulted in minor changes and amendments to the Bill. The amendments were drafted in the spirit of the principal Acts, that is, ‘to promote greater participation in forestry’ and to support the Forestry Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) charter in the future.

Discussion
Mr M Sibuyana (IFP) asked whether traditional authorities had been consulted and whether their opinions had been considered. The Chairperson felt that these concerns were not part of the agenda.

Mr Jenkins, a Parliamentary Legal Advisor, found that the error in Clause 27A, line 31, regarding inconsistency, needed to be corrected.

Mr V Mabuya-Khulu (ANC) asked if the KwaZulu-Natal Ingonyama Trust Act was applicable to other provinces.

Mr Jenkins questioned where the boundaries of the Act were. He stated that the KwaZulu Act fell under the national government and not under the KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive. The name of the Act would be corrected by the printers and was only a typographical error.

Mr Sibuyana asked whether the Ingonyama Trust was aware of the correction and whether any other trust had been formed. His question was not answered.

Forestry Laws Amendment Bill amendments
A Motion of Desirability was passed before the amendments commenced.

Clauses 1 to 11 were agreed upon by the Members. Clause 12 was repealed. Lines 9 – 11 of the long title were omitted. The word ‘repeal’ was used to replace ‘amend’ in the long title, which now reads ‘To repeal the Wattle Bark Industry Act, 1960’.

Mr M Masala (ANC) and Ms S Maine (ANC) expressed concern about the use of ‘KwaZulu’ in Clause 5. It was felt that ‘-Natal’ should be added to ‘KwaZulu’ to reflect the correct name of the province, that is, ‘KwaZulu-Natal’.

Mr Jenkins replied that a consequential amendment could be made to the name as it was a typographical error. This type of error could be corrected after the House had passed the Bill.

Ms R Mosiane, a State Law Advisor, answered that the error could be sorted out administratively. She advised that legal procedures and printers should be consulted to reflect the correct reference to the Act.

The Chairperson reflected that the problem was outside the domain of the Committee and created difficulties for the Committee.

Mr Jenkins said he would obtain a conclusive answer from the Constitutional Court. He suggested that a State Law Advisor correct the Bill before it went to the House as it was an ‘administration error’.

Mr M Mathipa, Department Law Advisor, stated that the Government Gazette or library would be the authority to give a correct answer and not the Constitutional Court. The printers had made mistakes.

The Committee adjourned for lunch.

After lunch, it was decided to add ‘-Natal’ after ‘KwaZulu’. The Committee then adopted the Bill with amendments.

The meeting was adjourned.


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