Repeal of Black Administration Act & Amendment of Certain Laws Bill: NCOP Amendments; Committee Report on Hearings into Implicat

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Justice and Correctional Services

15 November 2005
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JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
16 November 2005
REPEAL OF BLACK ADMINISTRATION ACT AND AMENDMENT OF CERTAIN LAWS BILL: NCOP AMENDMENTS; COMMITTEE REPORT ON HEARINGS INTO IMPLICATIONS AND APPROVAL PROPOSED NEW SALARY SCALES FOR MAGISTRACY: ADOPTION

Chairperson:
Ms F Chohan-Khota (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Repeal of Black Administration Act and Amendments of Certain Laws Bill [B25C-2005] (see Appendix A)
Repeal of Black Administration Act and Amendments of Certain Laws Bill [B25D-2005]
Interim Joint Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development and the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs on the Implications and Approval of the Proposed New Salary Scales for the Magistrates for 2005 (see Appendix B)

SUMMARY
After a brief discussion, the Committee passed the Repeal of Black Administration Act and Amendments of Certain Laws Bill, as amended by the Select Committee on Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

The Committee adopted the Interim Joint Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development and the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs on the Implications and Approval of the Proposed New Salary Scales for the Magistrates. The Interim Report dealt with the recommendations that had arisen out of the public hearings around the proposed new salary scales and motor vehicle allowances for magistrates for 2005. Indeed, the Interim Report supported the recommendations that had been made in the draft notice and schedule that had been tabled by the President in Parliament on 7 September 2005. The draft notice had stipulated that the cost of the implementation of car allowances and new salary scale for 2005 for senior magistrates and magistrates would be allocated to the Justice Vote. Added to this, it also recommended that the salary scales and car allowances for 2005 for magistrates be approved. Indeed, the magistrates’ new salary scales and car allowances would be backdated to April 2005. However, the Committee still needed to produce and table a final joint report on the public hearings by December 2005 which would include recommendations arising from the hearings. The recommendations would set out in detailed steps the administrative measures that should be followed in future in the determination of salary levels, in accordance with Section 12 of the Magistrates Act and Section 8 of the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act.

The Chairperson then briefly discussed issues around the Committee’s programme for 2006. It was noted that the Sexual Offences Bill would be prioritised in 2006.

MINUTES

Repeal of Black Administration Act and Amendments of Certain Laws Bill: Adoption
Mr L Bassett (Department of Justice and Constitutional Development Legal Drafter) noted that the Select Committee had made a few minor technical amendments to the Repeal of Black Administration Act and Amendments of Certain Laws Bill. After a brief discussion, the Committee voted in favour of the Bill, as amended by the Select Committee.

Interim Joint Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development and the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs on the Implications and Approval of the Proposed New Salary Scales for the Magistrates for 2005: Adoption
.
The Chairperson noted that certain issues had been raised during the 18 October Joint Public Hearings on the implications and approval of the proposed new salary scales for the magistrates. The National Treasury had argued that Justice should be responsible for the payment of the new salary scales and car allowances. The Justice Department had responded that it had not budgeted for the extra costs. Nonetheless, an agreement had been brokered between the National Treasury and the Department.

The Chairperson noted that a Resolution on the magistrates’ salaries had appeared in both the Order Papers of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. The Resolution stated that the Portfolio Committee and the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs had held Joint Public Hearings on the 18 October on the implications and approval of the proposed new salary scales for the magistrates. Pending the finding of the hearings, the Resolution noted that the Committee proposed that the House approve the draft notice and schedule tabled by the President in Parliament on the 7 September 2005. The draft notice had stipulated that the cost of the implementation of car allowances for senior magistrates and magistrates would be allocated to the Justice Vote. Added to this, it suggested that the new salary scales of the magistrates be approved. The Chairperson noted that this meant that the funds would be transferred from the National Revenue Fund to the Justice Department, which would then administer the payment of the car allowances and new salary scales. The Resolution stated the Committee would be tabling a final report on the outcome of the Joint Public Hearings before the end of the year.

As a result, the Chairperson noted that both the Portfolio Committee and the Select Committee needed to table a substantive report on the Joint Public Hearings. However, the Committees had been unable to deliberate on the details of such a report due to time constraints. Indeed, the subject of the report would provoke a lot of discussion. Nevertheless, the recommendations, which had been placed in the Order Paper, were urgent and needed to be finalised. This would provide certainty for the magistrates around their salary scales and the motor vehicle allowances. As a result, the Committee would attempt to produce a final report before the end of the year, as outlined in the Resolution

The Chairperson had prepared an interim report of the Joint Public Hearings and the Committee’s recommendations. She guided the Members through the Interim Report. The Interim Report noted that the Portfolio and Select Committees had held a Joint Public Hearing on the details and implications of the implementation of the proposed new salary scales, which included the vehicle allowances, for the magistrates. The Interim Report noted that the Portfolio Committee made the following findings and recommendations:
- that the House should rescind its previous decision of 7th September 2005, which had approved the draft notice and schedule received in terms Section 12 (a) (1) of the Magistrates Act as amended by Section 3 of the Judicial Officers Amendment of Conditions of Services Act.
- In terms of Section 12 (3) (a) (1) of the Magistrates Act, to approve the draft notice and schedule that had been tabled by the President in Parliament on the 7th September 2005.
- That the costs of the motor vehicle allowances for senior magistrates and magistrates be allocated to the Justice Vote.
- That the Portfolio Committee should table its final report in the House before the end of the year. This final report would provide details on the outcomes and recommendations in relation to legislative and procedural matters relating to the determination of salary levels for magistrates. Added to this, the report would include any other matter that arisen out of the Joint Public Hearings.
The Chairperson added that the recommendations in the Interim Report were exactly the same as the Resolution in the Order Paper.

Mr B Magwanishe (ANC) asked whether the payment of magistrate’s vehicle allowances would be retrospective. The Chairperson noted that the Committee was supporting the President’s draft notice in full. As a result, the motor vehicle allowance and salary levels of the magistrates would be backdated to 1 April 2005.

The Committee then agreed to adopt the Interim Report.

The Chairperson noted that the Portfolio Committee would still have to deliberate on the final report with the Select Committee. This would ensure that the Committees would not have different opinions on substantive matters. The deliberation would possibly take place in December.

Committee Programme for 2006
The Chairperson noted that the Committee’s 2006 agenda would be circulated to the Members before the end of the 2005. The Committee needed to process the Superior Courts Bill and the 14th Constitutional Amendment in 2006. Added to this, the prosecuting policy was likely to be placed before the Committee in 2006. The Committee would also be dealing with issues around the sexual offences legislation.

Ms S Camerer (DA) asked whether the sexual offences legislation could be prioritised. The Chairperson replied that the draft of the Sexual Offences Bill had been completed. This draft was being processed by the Minister. It appeared as if there would be no further delays around the Bill. She added that the Sexual Offences Bill was a priority. However, she noted that the Sexual Offences Bill would not, on its own, be a cure for the issues that South Africa faced around sexual offences. Even when the Bill was passed, South Africa would still have the problem of sexual offences and rape. Nonetheless, the Bill would be a tool that could be used in the fight against sexual offences. Nevertheless, the Members needed to be responsible in the manner in which they engaged lobby groups around the Sexual Offences Bill.

It was noted that the Committee would be returning to Parliament on the 12, 13 and 14 of December to process the Cross Boundaries Bill, and to meet with the Select Committee around the final report on the magistrates’ new salary scales for 2005.

The meeting was adjourned.

Appendix A
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

SELECT COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS

TO: REPEAL OF THE BLACK ADMINISTRATION ACT AND AMENDMENT OF CERTAIN LAWS BILL

[B25B-2005]

(As agreed to by the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs (National Council of Provinces))

[B25C-2005]

 

AMENDMENTS APPROVED

REPEAL OF THE BLACK ADMINISTRATION ACT AND AMENDMENT OF CERTAIN LAWS BILL

[B 25B — 2005]

CLAUSE 1

1. On page 3, in line 24, after the word "repealed", to insert "on".

2. On page 3, in line 25, in paragraph (a), to omit "on".

3. On page 3, in line 26, in paragraph (b), to omit "on".

4. On page 3, in line 30, after the word "repealed", to insert "on".

5. On page 3, in line 31, in paragraph (a), to omit "on".

6. On page 3, in line 32, in paragraph (b), to omit "on".

7. On page 3, in line 37, after the first "in", to insert "the province of"

8. On page 3, in line 59, to omit "which is not inconsistent with the Constitution and"

 

CLAUSE 3

1. On page 4, in line 31, after the first "of", to insert "the"

 

LONG TITLE

1. On page 2, from the fourth line, to omit "to amend the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, 2003, so as to regulate the liability of a traditional community in respect of the obligations of, or those incurred by, its traditional leadership;".

 

 

Appendix B
Interim Report of Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on hearings into the implications and approval of the proposed new salary scales for the magistracy.

2. Draft resolution (Chief Whip of the Majority Party): That the House -

(1) noting that the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development and the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs held joint hearings on 18 October 2005 to inter alia enquire into the details of the implications and the approval of the proposed new salary scales for the magistracy; and

(2) pending the finalisation of the recommendations emanating from the hearings and arising from the interim report of the Portfolio Committee of Justice and Constitutional Development, resolves as follows:

(a) To rescind its previous decision of 7 September 2005, which approved the draft notice and schedule received in terms of Section 12(a)(1) of the Magistrates Act 90 of 1993, as amended by Section 3 of the Judicial Officers (Amendment of Conditions of Service Act 28 of 2003);

(b) In terms of Section 12(3)(a)(i) of the Magistrates Act 90 of 1993, approves the draft notice and schedule of the President tabled in Parliament on 7 September 2005;

(c) That the costs for the implementation of the motor vehicle allowances for senior magistrates and magistrates be allocated to the Justice Vote in terms of Section 213(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, read with Section 12(4) of the Magistrates Act 90 of 1993, and

(d) That the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development table its final report in the National Assembly before the end of the year detailing the outcomes and recommendations in relation to legislative and procedural matters relating to the determination of salary levels for magistrates; the absence of a budgetary allocation to defray the proposed new motor vehicle allowances for senior magistrates and magistrates; the development of policy measures to deal with the implications arising from the extension of motor vehicles allowances to senior magistrates and magistrates and any other matter relevant to or emanating from the said hearings.

Interim Report of Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs - Notice on Approval of Remuneration of Magistrates

Draft resolution (The Chief Whip of the Council): That the Council -

(1) noting that the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs and the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development held joint hearings on 18 October 2005 to inter alia enquire into the details of the implications and the approval of the proposed new salary scales for the magistracy;

(2) pending the finalisation of the recommendations emanating from the hearings and arising from the interim report of the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs, resolves as follows:

(a) In terms of Section 12(3)(a)(i) of the Magistrates Act 90 of 1993, approves the draft notice and schedule of the President tabled in Parliament on 7 September 2005;

(b) That the costs for the implementation of the motor vehicle allowances for senior magistrates and magistrates be allocated to the Justice Vote in terms of Section 213(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, read with Section 12(4) of the Magistrates Act 90 of 1993; and

(c) That the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs table its final report in the Council before the end of the year detailing the outcomes and recommendations in relation to legislative and procedural matters in relation to the determination of salary levels for magistrates; the absence of a budgetary allocation to defray the proposed new motor vehicle allowances for senior magistrates and magistrates; the development of policy measures to deal with the implications arising from the extension of motor vehicles allowances to senior magistrates and magistrates and any other matter relevant to or emanating from the said hearings.

 

 

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