ATC140226: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities on Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill [B50-2013] dated 26 February 2014
Report of the Portfolio
Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities on Women Empowerment
and Gender Equality Bill [B50-2013] dated 26 February 2014
The Portfolio Committee on Women,
Children and People with Disabilities, having considered the subject of the
Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill
(National Assembly section 76
[B50-2013], referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a
section 76 Bill), presents a redrafted Bill [B 50B-2013].
The Committee reports the Bill further
published a notice in the press on 1 December 2013, inviting the public to
make submissions on the Bill by no later than 20 December 2013. The
Committee received 41 submissions from the civil society organisations and
held public hearings on 29 & 30 January 2014.
23 organisations made an oral
presentation to the Committee on
& 30 January 2014.
The Committee received responses to the submissions
from the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities on 5
February 2014 and deliberated on 18, 19 & 25 February 2014.
The Committee took heed of the input received and
the Bill was amended accordingly. The amendments pertained to definitions,
applications and objects of the bill, social development, equal
representation and empowerment, governance, review and enforcement, code
of good conduct, framework and regulations, miscellaneous and Schedule 1
The Democratic Alliance raised the following
concerns and objections during the deliberations and voted against the
the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill duplicates the constitutional
mandate of the Commission for Gender Equality and certain provisions contained
in the other pieces of legislation namely; the Promotion of Equality and
Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (No. 4 of 2000), the Employment Equity
Act (No. 55 of 1998), the Basic Conditions of Employment Equity Act (No. 75 of
1997) and the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act (No. 53 of 2003);
the Bill does not adequately address the prejudice and discrimination faced by
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex persons;
the 50 percent requirement contained in the Bill amounts to a top-down
manipulation to achieve equality and does not address the root causes of
inequality in South Africa;
the Bill is not realistically implementable given the Departments proven
capacity constraints and inability to meet its own targets;
discretion afforded to the Minister to designate bodies and to recommend which
steps should be taken, is still too wide;
the sanctions in the Bill are too harsh and a Bill of this nature should rather
incentivise behaviour in order to facilitate compliance.
the Department should undertake a comprehensive audit of existing legislation
to identify gaps in laws that are not properly implemented and to make findings
on what is required to implement them sufficiently.
The Committee accordingly
presents a redraft of the Bill [B50B-2013] for consideration by the National
Report to be considered.
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