4 planned laws that every South African needs to know about right now

Non-profit organisation Dear South Africa has launched a new campaign encouraging South Africans to comment on a number of important pieces of legislation which are currently open for consideration.

Dear South Africa said that its platform provides a direct government interface which enables the public to have a say in favour of or opposition of a bill. It’s aim is to make commenting on bills easier and public participation more transparent.

Along with immediately delivering your comment to the government, the group said that its system keeps an accurate record of all participants and enables the organisation to present a report directly to parliament.

You can find some of the most notable bills open for public comment below.

Constitutional amendment bill on land expropriation

This Bill aims to amend the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa by providing for the expropriation of property without the payment of compensation.

As many as 92,000 participants had already voted on the platform by 12h30 on Thursday (16 January), with the vast majority (78,000 votes) indicating they are not in favour of the bill.

The AdHoc Committee on Amending the Constitution opened the first call for comment to produce a report for parliament in June 2018, a process which resulted in over 700,000 South Africans voicing their opinion.

While a large number of online and written comments were opposed to the bill, parliament has said that in its dialogues – which were held across the country –  South Africans were largely in favour of land expropriation without compensation.

Submissions on the bill must be received by no later than 31 January 2020.

Plan to ‘nationalise’ all sports, clubs and gyms in South Africa

The National Sport and Recreation Act draft amendment bill aims to bring all sports codes, clubs and fitness organisations under the direct regulatory control of the minister.

Among the many proposed changes in the bill is the removal of the independence of sports bodies, which would now have to develop ways to promote their sports in consultation with the minister, as well as giving the minister power to step-in directly in any disputes within sports.

The department also wants to assume full control of all sports codes, with its oversight extending to “any national federation, agency, club or body, including a trust, professional league, or registered company of such a national federation, agency, club or body, involved in the administration of sport or recreation at local, provincial or national level.”

This would ostensibly include fitness groups like Virgin Active and Planet Fitness, which would have to register and be certified by the department.

Submissions on the bill must be received by no later than 28 February 2020.

Eskom tariff hike

Despite ongoing power cuts, Eskom has applied to the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) for a 17% tariff increase to recover R27bn they apparently lost from load shedding.

NERSA has asked for public comment and will then assess Eskom’s application following due regulatory processes.

Submissions on the bill must be received by no later than 20 January 2020.

Carbon tax 

The regulations set out the financial exposure and carbon emissions allowances facing all companies.

The legislation also outlines the eligibility criteria for offset projects and sets out the procedure for claiming the offset allowance

Submissions need to be made before 17 January 2020.

Read: South Africa could lose up to R34 billion because of planned copyright law: coalition

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4 planned laws that every South African needs to know about right now