Parliament’s 2014 first term programme

February 1st, 2014

By Nonhlanhla Chanza

There are a number of Bills that await finalisation before the end of the first term in March. Some of the contentious pieces of legislation that the second house of parliament, the National Council of Provinces, plans on finalising by March 2014 include the –

  • Legal Practice Bill B20B of 2012 (s 76);
  • Traditional Courts Bill B1 of 2012 (s 76 (2)); and
  • Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill B27B of 2012 (s 75).

Provincial hearings on the Legal Practice Bill and the Judicial Matters Amendment Bill B7B of 2013 (s 76) are planned for the week of 11–17 February.

Other public hearings also targeted for the first term of parliament in 2014 include hearings on the National Credit Amendment Bill, National Environmental Management: Waste Amendment Bill B32 of 2013 and the National Water Policy Review.

Based on the publicly available programme for the first term, there are Bills that are not likely to be finalised by this parliament, in particular s 76 Bills. Bills that are likely to be affected, inter alia, include the –

  • Public Administration Management Bill B48 of 2013 (s 76);
  • Infrastructure Development Bill B49 of 2013 (proposed s 75);
  • Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill B50 of 2013 (proposed s 75);
  • State Attorney Amendment Bill B52 of 2013 (proposed s 75);
  • Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill B15 of 2013 (s 76);
  • Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill B35 of 2013 (proposed s 75);
  • National Environmental Management: Waste Amendment Bill B32 of 2013 (s 76);
  • Water Research Amendment Bill B29 of 2013 (s 75);
  • Property Valuation Bill B54 of 2013 (proposed s 75); and
  • Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill (s 75).

There are also still approximately six private member Bills that will lapse if not passed by both houses of parliament by 14 March. These include the –

  • Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill (s 74);
  • Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Amendment Bill (s 75);
  • Constitution Nineteenth Amendment Bill (s 74);
  • Protection of Traditional Knowledge Bill (s 76(1)); and
  • the Defence Amendment Bill B11 of 2010 (proposed s 75).

In conclusion, it is important to note that even though parliament’s first term programme for 2014 is short, the issues and the nature of the Bills under discussion are of paramount importance, not only to the legal profession but the public at large. Therefore this will require continued robust engagement and monitoring of the legislative programme. February and March 2014 will remain the two most important months in the life of the Legal Practice Bill.

Nonhlanhla Chanza, Parliamentary liaison officer

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2014 (Jan/Feb) DR 23.