New Bills passed

April 1st, 2014

Parliament recently passed three new Bills, namely, the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill B35 of 2013, the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill B27 of 2012 and the Infrastructure Development Bill B49 of 2013.

The Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill aims to amend the Restitution of Land Rights Act 22 of 1994. It amends the cut-off date for lodging a claim for restitution, meaning that it re-opens the land restitution process as it sets a new deadline for land claims to 31 December 2018 as opposed to the previous deadline of 31 December 1998. It also aims to regulate the appointment, tenure of office, remuneration and the terms and conditions of service of judges of the Land Claims Court.

The Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill is aimed to amend the Private Security Industry Regulation Act 56 of 2001. It aims to, inter alia

  • amend certain definitions;
  • provide for additional powers of the minister;
  • provide for the authority to promote crime prevention partnerships with other organs of state;
  • provide for the regulation of ownership and control of a business operating as a security service provider;
  • regulate security services rendered outside South Africa; and
  • to empower the Minister to make regulations for the transportation of cash and other valuables.

An amendment to s 20 of the Private Security Industry Regulation Act will compel foreign-owned private security companies to sell 51% of their shares to South Africans. This section will include an addition of para (c), which reads ‘if at least 51 per cent of the ownership and control is exercised by South African citizens’.

The Infrastructure Development Bill aims to provide for the facilitation and coordination of public infrastructure development, which is of significant economic or social importance to the country. It will also ensure that infrastructure development in the country is given priority in planning, approval and implementation and ensure that the development goals of the state are promoted through infrastructure development.

The Infrastructure Development Bill makes provision for a Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission, which is tasked with performing the functions provided for in this Bill. The Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission will have the following members –

  • the President;
  • the Deputy President;
  • Ministers designated by the President;
  • the premiers of the provinces; and
  • the executive mayors of metropolitan councils as well as the chairperson of the South African Local Government Association recognised in terms of the Organised Local Government Act 52 of 1997 as the national organisation representing municipalities.

The Bill states that the President, or in his absence, the Deputy President, is the chairperson of the commission. Some opposition parties have criticised the Bill as placing too much power in the hands of the President to drive infrastructure projects.

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2014 (April) DR 13.