Tuesday, Following much public input in both Houses of Parliament, the National Assembly today agreed to the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill, the National Health Laboratory Service Amendment Bill, the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Bill and the Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill.
These four Bills will now be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa for his signature.
Initially, the National Assembly considered these Bills in its committees, after the public had an opportunity to make inputs and study them. Then, the National Assembly sent the versions agreed at its plenary House sittings to the National Council of Provinces for agreement.
The National Council of Provinces, after further public consultation and input on the Bills, proposed additional amendments to them and sent them back to the National Assembly for reconsideration.
Committees of the National Assembly subjected the National Council of Provinces’ amendments to further public scrutiny and comment and made decisions about them. The four Bills agreed at today’s National Assembly sitting include the amendments from the National Council of Provinces.
The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill aims to promote a system that, while promoting efficient prosecution of offences, encourages drivers to obey the rules. Included in the Bill are provisions for electronic or postal delivery of contravention notices, for electronic service of notices to be reflected in a National Road Traffic Offences Register. Also provided for is apportionment of penalties for road traffic contraventions and an infringement tribunal to deal with road traffic offences. The Bill amends the 1998 Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Act.
The National Health Laboratory Service Amendment Bill seeks to improve governance, accountability and financial sustainability of the National Health Laboratory Service. This is to enable provision of more cost-effective and efficient diagnostic health laboratory services. These, in turn, would improve the quality of care of patients. The Bill amends the National Health Laboratory Services Act of 2000.
The Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Bill has its origins in the Cabinet-approved 2004 National Indigenous Knowledge Systems Policy. Key objectives of the Bill are to protect, promote, develop and manage indigenous knowledge systems, the knowledge of indigenous communities and indigenous knowledge-based innovation. Means to achieve these objectives include the National Indigenous Knowledge Systems Office, the Advisory Panel, a register of indigenous knowledge and accreditation and certification of indigenous knowledge practitioners.
The Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill replaces the apartheid-era National Key Points Act of 1980. Key features of the Bill include providing for identifying and declaring certain infrastructure as critical. It also includes providing guidelines and factors to be taken into account to ensure transparent identification and declaration of such infrastructure and providing for measures to protect, safeguard and ensure the resilience of critical infrastructure.
Also approved at today’s National Assembly plenary sitting were recommendations to the Minister of Arts and Culture of candidates to serve on the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB).
The Constitution specifies that the PanSALB is appointed for a term of five years and that its members may be reappointed for only one further term.
The National Assembly’s 15 recommended candidates to serve on the PanSALB, are: Nkensani Gertrude Bilankulu, Prudence Chilwane, Preetha Dabideen, Seipati Bernice Dichabe, Fio Dolly Gaesebeng Dlavane, Cinga Gqabu, Tebogo David Maahlamela, Mariaan Magdalena Maartens, Lolie Makubu-Badenhorst, Manfred Kgomotso Maleboa, Thulani John Mbuli, Aubbrey Greyling Mthembu, Ntshengedzeni Edward Mudau, Bernadette Muthien and Nomakhosazana Rasana.