Cabinet has approved these 4 new laws for South Africa
Cabinet has recently approved a number of new bills that have subsequently been submitted to parliament, including new legislation which focuses on financial crime, divorce and substances.
There are over 53 bills containing a mixture of significant, medium-level, and minor legislation that are currently before parliament, according to data given by the Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG).
Below are some of the key laws currently going through the legislative process that will be taken into consideration or passed in the upcoming months.
In a flurry to stop a possible greylisting that would make doing business harder in South Africa. The government has been fast-tracking amendment bills.
The bills aim to fill gaps in regulation that have, according to the international watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), allowed for corruption, money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes to run rampant.
General Laws (Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing) Amendment Bill
Finance minister Enoch Godongwana recently tabled the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill; the Treasury said that when it is enacted as law, it will improve the country’s adherence to international best practices in combatting financial crimes and corruption.
This bill will amend the following other pieces of legislation that deal with specific sectors:
- Trust Property Control Act;
- Nonprofit Organisations Act;
- Financial Intelligence Centre Act;
- Companies Act, and;
- Financial Sector Regulation Act.
Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill
This amendment bill builds on the General Laws Amendment bill and seeks to address deficiencies in at least 14 of the 20 recommendations made by the FATF, including an appropriate enhancement of powers and procedures for regulatory authorities.
Maintenance Amendment Bill
On 30 August, this bill was introduced to the National Assembly, and it aims to amend the Maintenance Act that seeks to provide the obligation for one person to provide for another, for example, a minor, with food, clothing, or education. This act is primarily used in divorce proceedings.
According to the preamble of the bill, alongside procedural amendments regarding the numbering of certain provisions, the amendments will also provide for:
- the locations where a person who is entitled to be maintained may submit a complaint for maintenance;
- the powers of maintenance officers with regard to investigations and enquiries of maintenance matters;
- extending the payment of entitlements and allowances to complainants, and;
- alternative dispute resolution in maintenance matters.
Drugs and Drug Trafficking Amendment Bill
This bill seeks to amend certain sections of the Drugs Act – that governs regulated substances – to address a constitutionally invalid section.
Recent case law has revealed that section 63 of the Drugs Act that relates to the listings of drugs under Schedule 1 and 2 is unconstitutional as it gives the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development overarching powers to amend the listing of drugs in such schedules.
The new bill aims to repeal the ability of the Minister and reaffirm the principle that ‘plenary power’, the power to pass, amend or repeal an Act of Parliament, should vest with parliament.
The Act noted that the legislature might not assign plenary legislative powers to another body.
Substances listed in Schedule 1 include those that are useful for the manufacture of medicines, while Schedule 2 concerns itself with the substances that produce dependency and are deemed dangerous or undesirable by the government.