National Parks Amendment Bill: deliberations


03 October 2001
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

This Report is a Contact Natural Resource Information Service
Taking Parliament to People, and People to Parliament


The aim of this report is to summarise the main events at the meeting and identify the key role players. This report is not a verbatim transcript of proceedings.

3 October 2001

Chairperson: Ms G. L. Mahlangu

Documents handed out:
National Parks Amendment Bill [B38-2001]
Determination of Public Benefit Activities for Purposes of Section 30 of the Income Tax Act 1962
Determination of Public Benefit Activities for Purposes of Section 18A of the Income Tax Act 1962.

The Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism focused on changes to guarantee tax incentives to individuals who donate to the National Parks. The Portfolio Committee approved the Bill.

The Chairperson introduced Ms. T. Mkhwanazi, Special Legal Advisor to the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, to brief the Committee on the National Parks Amendment Bill. Ms Mkhwanazi asked the Committee members what they would like her to focus her presentation on.

Mr E. Moorcroft (DP) suggested that she present only the amendments to the standing legislation.

Ms Mkhwanazi said she would address only those issues that had been raised by Committee members in earlier meetings. Firstly, she explained that a contested statement in paragraph 1.3 of the Bill was a non-issue because it was miswritten, and the Department intended to delete it. Secondly, there had been concern over the S18A contained in the Income Tax Act. Under the original legislation, tax deduction incentives are not guaranteed to an individual who donates to a National Park. This is the result of two requirements stipulated by the old bill: that the donation must fall under section 10, and that the donor recipient must be carrying on activities that legally classify as "public benefit activities."

The Chairperson asked whether the National Parks' role in historical preservation was not sufficient qualification to be classified as public benefit activity.

Ms Mkhwanazi reminded the Committee that she had already explained this in detail at an earlier meeting.

Dr R. Rabinowitz (IFP) asked whether it was possible to withdraw the proposed amendment entirely.

Ms Mkhwanazi responded that this was not possible.

Ms J. Semple (DP) interjected that from the viewpoint of the taxpayer this part of the memorandum made the most sense.

Ms Mkhwanazi concurred and added that with the amendment, the donor would qualify for tax deduction without having to argue for it.

The Chairperson asked Ms Mkhwanazi to skip ahead to the last portion of the Bill, where the amendments suggested the omission of the last paragraph. She noted that it seemed as though the Portfolio Committee agreed to the amendments contained in the Bill. This was confirmed by the Committee members apart from Mr Moorcroft who reminded the room that, out of courtesy, he could not vote before receiving the consent of his caucus.

The Chairperson confirmed the Committee's agreement on the Bill and that it would be submitted to the National Assembly that was scheduled to debate the Bill on Tuesday, 9 October 2001.

The meeting was adjourned.

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