NEWS & ANALYSIS

NA approves Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill - Parliament

PIC Amendment Bill (Committee Bill) and Finance and Customs and Excise Amendment Bill also go through

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY PASSES THE TRADITIONAL AND KHOI-SAN LEADERSHIP BILL

The National Assembly today considered and agreed to the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill following the passing of the TKLB as amended on 10 January 2019 National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

The Bill was referred to the NCOP after its Second Reading Debate in the National Assembly which took place on 7 November 2017. Following amendments by NCOP, the CoGTA Portfolio Committee considered the TKLB on 13 February 2019 ahead of final consideration by the NA.

In addition, the Bill went through a process of extensive public hearings and stakeholder engagements during 2015, 2016 and 2017 led by the CoGTA Portfolio Committee. The Committee further improved the Bill through amendments and finalised it in October 2017. During 2018, the CoGTA Select Committee and provincial legislatures considered the Bill making further amendments and finalising on 4 December 2018.

The Bill is intended to address key issues:

- to consolidate the existing national legislation relating to traditional leadership and to address the shortcomings of such legislation in order to improve the implementation thereof.

- to make provision for the first time ever for the statutory recognition of the Khoi-San communities and leaders.

- to provide for Khoi-San structures similar to those of traditional communities and for recognised Khoi-San leaders to become members of the houses of traditional leaders which will in future be known as houses of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders.

Following the final passing of the Bill by the National Assembly today, 26 February 2019, it will be referred to the President for assent. It will thereafter be published in the Government Gazette as a new law. However, it should be noted that the Bill will not come into operation on the date it is published in the Gazette. The commencement date will be determined through a Presidential proclamation.

One of the reasons for this relates to the Commission on Khoi-San Matters provided for in the Bill. This Commission will play a crucial role in assisting government with the recognition process of the Khoi-San communities and leaders. Since the Bill contains timeframes within which applications for such recognition may be lodged, it is important to finalise certain preparations before the new law comes into operation and the Commission commences with its work. This is to ensure that communities and leaders who may apply for recognition are not disadvantaged by the statutory timeframes.

The preparatory work in respect of the Commission will be done in accordance with the provisions of section 14 of the Interpretation Act, 1957. The section states that where a law confers a power to, amongst others, make any appointment (such as the appointment of members of the Commission), “… that power may … be exercised at any time after the passing of the law so far as may be necessary for the purpose of bringing the law into operation at the commencement thereof...”

Statement issued by Musa Zondi, Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, 26 February 2019

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY PASSES THREE (3) BILLS DURING SITTING THIS AFTERNOON

Parliament, Tuesday 26 February 2019 – The National Assembly plenary sitting this afternoon passed three (3) Bills, Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill (Committee Bill), Finance and Customs and Excise Amendment Bill, Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill.

The House’s approval of the Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill (PIC) comes on the back of various allegations of wrong-doing and questionable investments leveled against the PIC. 

The PIC Amendment Bill, a Bill of the Standing Committee on Finance, aims to provide greater transparency and better governance in the PIC.

One of the Bill’s key aspects is around representation on the PIC Board. According to the Bill, the Minister of Finance must appoint 10 non-executive PIC Board members, including a representative of National Treasury, two representatives from the largest depositor and one representative from any depositor whose assets under PIC management amounts to at least 10 percent, two representatives from the trade union with the majority of members on the Government Employees’ Pension Fund and one representative (decided by the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council) based on proportional representation.

The Bill also requires the Minister of Finance to table a report annually to Parliament regarding all investments and requests for approval of any significant transactions in terms of the Public Finance Management Act. The Minister must also table regulations on the PIC in Parliament.

The third Bill to get the nod this afternoon was the Finance and Customs and Excise Amendment Bill, which seeks to amend the Customs and Excise Act, 1964, so as to make provision for the administration and collection of carbon tax revenues; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

The Bill will now be sent to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.

The Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill was passed with amendments proposed by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

The purpose of the Bill, among others, is to make provision for recognition of the Khoi-San, to effect consequential amendment to other laws, while also repealing the National House of Traditional Leaders Act of 2009 and the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act of 2003.

The Bill will now be sent to the President for assent.

Statement issued by Moloto Mothapo, Parliament, 26 February 2019