General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill (GILAB)

Cabinet approved the draft GILAB of 2023 for submission to Parliament. The GILAB proposes amendments to the National Strategic Intelligence Act, 1994 (Act 39 of 1994). The Bill gives effect to the recommendations of the Presidential High-Level Review Panel on the State Security Agency (SSA) as well as the implementation plan of the recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State.  

Amongst others the Bill seeks to: (a) restructure the intelligence services to provide an institutional architecture that enables effectiveness and efficiency by establishing the domestic intelligence agency and the foreign intelligence service; (b) remedy the defects on the functioning of the Signals Intelligence Capacity as confirmed by the Constitutional Court; (c)  address the weaknesses identified through Financial Action Task Force process, including measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing by empowering the national security structures to investigate and conduct security assessment if a person or institution is of national security interest; (d) Strengthen measures to regulate and coordinate the private security industry as part of a broader national security approach; and (e) put in place measures to regulate the conduct of former members of the service and others with access to intelligence information.

The Bill will further ensure that the services of the SSA are not abused to serve the interests or agenda of certain individuals.  

The amendments will strengthen the oversight of the intelligence agencies by bodies such as the Inspector-General of Intelligence, the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and the Auditor-General of South Africa. The Bill (May 2023 version) is available here

Cabinet Statement

Intelwatch and Campaign for Free Expression are convening a virtual information session on the GILAB, 10am Thursday 17 August. The session will outline why the Bill is such a serious concern and explore strategies for engaging in the public participation process.


Briefing note:

Please RSVP to [email protected] by no later than Monday, 14 August 2023