19 May 2021
19 May 2021
The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry met on a virtual platform to consider responses by political parties to the proposed Amendments to the Copyright and the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bills.
It had been agreed at the previous meeting that Members would take the proposed Amendments to their caucuses and report back to the Committee. The ANC supported the proposed Amendments and that those Amendments that were substantive be advertised for public comment. Other parties present in the meeting did not object to the proposal by the ANC but reserved their comments on the Amendments. The advertising of the Amendments was dependent on the House giving its approval – the following day - for the Committee to address the additional clauses in the two Bills remitted by the President. Should approval be given, the proposed Amendments would be advertised in the media and on parliamentary social platforms as from 4 December 2021.
The Chairperson welcomed Members and indicated that Committee would consider the advertisement of proposed amendments to the Remitted Bills, the Copyright and Performers’ Protection Amendment Bills. Adv Charmaine van der Merwe, Senior Legal Advisor, Office of the Constitutional and Legal Services, who was leading the working team on the Bills, was in attendance.
Feedback on party deliberations on the advertisement of proposed amendments to clauses in the Remitted Bills
The Committee Secretary summed up the previous meeting, adding that it had been decided that Members would take the proposed Amendments, including the intention to advertise substantive amendments for public comment, to their caucuses for discussion and were due to report back in that meeting. He indicated that the secretariat awaited direction from the Members regarding the results of the caucus discussion and how the secretariat should proceed.
The Chairperson called for feedback from the parties.
Ms J Hermans (ANC) stated that the ANC was in agreement with the document tabled at the previous meeting and approved the amendments for advertising as proposed by the Legal Advisor as well as the technical amendments, which did not need to be advertised.
The Secretary advised Mr Cuthbert, who had joined the meeting after it had commenced, of the process being followed by the Committee.
Mr M Cuthbert (DA) had no comments at the time.
Ms Y Yako (EFF) had no comment at the time.
Mr W Thring (ACDP) did not have a challenge with the process and reserved the comments of the ACDP.
Mr S Mbuyane (ANC) seconded the proposal by Ms Hermans that the Committee should accept the recommendations tabled at the previous meeting and proceed with advertising the clauses.
The Chairperson noted the agreement by all parties to proceed with the advertising of the proposed amendments for public comment.
The Secretary reminded the Committee that the matter of the amendments as approved by the Committee was subject to approval by the House of Assembly. The request by the Committee to address additional clauses in the Remitted Bills would be before the House the following day and if the process were approved by Members of the House, the secretariat would process the advertisements.
The Chairperson stated that it would be appropriate for Adv van der Merwe to comment.
Adv van der Merwe thanked the Committee for the support. She and the support team would work on the actual wording of the clauses. She would put the amendments into the actual clauses so that it would be easier for the public to understand. The document that had been approved was lengthy and so she would reduce it to those amendments that would actually be advertised. At least a third of the document tabled the previous week would have to be included in the advertisements and she would make that document available to Committee Members. She agreed that the secretariat had to wait for the approval of the House before placing the advertisement.
She indicated that the Committee could work on the wording of clauses that did not need to be advertised. The wording was technical and therefore she did not believe that the matter would be contentious.
Ms Hermans requested clarity. She had understood that the document presented to the Committee by the Legal Advisor the previous week contained the actual proposed amendments to be advertised and the technical amendments to be made. That had been her understanding when she had proposed the adoption of the document for further processing. It now appeared that Adv van der Merwe was suggesting that a further process was required in terms of the wording of the technical amendments.
Adv van der Merwe confirmed that the document had contained the wording of all currently proposed amendments – those for public comment, the technical amendments and even those that had been previously approved. The process could go forward using the document presented the previous week but she had been under the impression that Members would wish to propose further changes to the wording that she had suggested. She was pleased to be given a clear understanding that no further work on the amendments was required by Members at that stage.
The Secretary noted that the matter of the amendments had been concluded until, assuming that the House agreed with the process, submissions had been received from members of the public. Based on the discussion, it appeared that the additional two meetings that week were superfluous and were not required. He requested confirmation of his assumption, adding that the secretariat would ensure that the process for advertising would continue if the House agreed to the consideration of additional clauses.
Ms Yako requested a list containing only those amendments to be published.
The Secretary agreed to supply the list and indicated that the intention was to place advertisements from the coming weekend, i.e. 4 December 2021, if the House agreed to the process the following day.
Mr D Macpherson (DA), who had been travelling, greeted the Chairperson, indicating that he was on the platform.
The Chairperson stated that the process had been agreed by the Committee and promised that there would be continuous engagement on the matter. He requested the Secretary to present the way forward.
The Secretary stated that the way forward would be to wait for the decision of the House the following day; he was presuming that it would be a positive outcome. All the necessary administrative preparations had been made. The advertisements would also be placed on all parliamentary social media platforms. The due date would be indicated in the advertisements. There was no need for the Committee to hold further meetings on the matter that week.
Consideration of Minutes
The minutes of 12 May 2021, with the amendments previously requested by Members, were presented and adopted without amendment or objection.
The minutes of 9 November, 10 November, 12 November, 16 November, 17 November, 19 November, 23 November, 24 November 2021 were read and adopted without amendment or objection.
The Chairperson noted that all sets of minutes had been agreed to.
Ms Hermans, noting that one did not praise a fish for swimming, nevertheless, felt that she had to commend the secretariat on the excellent way in which the Committee had received minutes right up to date. She added that the fact that there were no amendments showed how well the secretariat had undertaken its work of recording the Committee meetings.
Noting that there were no further items on the agenda, the Chairperson asked the Secretary to sum up the way forward.
The Secretary stated that he would keep Members up to date with the processes that would unfold following the meeting of the House of Assembly and its decision the following day. He would send a copy of the document indicating which clauses were to be advertised for public comment to Members. The next meeting would be held on 7 December 2021 when the Committee would receive a briefing from the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition on the Steel Master Plan.
The Chairperson requested that an item on the Remitted Bills be included in the agenda of 7 December 2021 in order to give Members an update on the process at that point.
The Chairperson thanked Members for their participation and adjourned the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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