Cabinet has approved a number of new bills for submission to parliament, including two key pieces of energy legislation and new rules around firearms.
In a statement on Thursday (13 May), cabinet indicated that the bills would now undergo the full public participation process, including an open comment period.
The proposed legislation is outlined in more detail below.
Cabinet has approved the publication of the Firearms Amendment Bill of 2021 for public comment.
The bill proposes tighter controls and management of firearms and the establishment of the National Firearms Register.
The changes are aimed at assisting in reducing the number of firearms in private hands and consequently reduce incidents of violent crimes. The bill also aims to improve the processing, control of firearms and the application system.
Cabinet has approved the publication of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill for public comment.
The bill seeks to align South Africa’s current legislative framework to international laws that seek to combat terrorism.
This comes after the United Nations Security Council adopted numerous additional resolutions to strengthen measures to combat global terrorism. Member states have an obligation to domesticate these measures.
The amendments clarify some of the definitions in the Act and add additional offences, particularly on people who depart, in transit or arrive in any country for the purpose of joining or supporting terrorist groups.
It prohibits publications with terrorism-related content. The amendments also respond to the gaps that were highlighted by the UN.
Cabinet approved the submission of the Draft Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill to parliament.
The bill provides the legislative and regulatory framework to create a conducive environment for investment, growth and job creation in the upstream of petroleum resources market, cabinet said.
It also provides clarity on:
- The application system;
- Permits and rights issuing
- Transferability of the rights;
- Participation by black persons;
- Participation of the state;
- The transitional requirements
- The strategic stock requirements for petroleum rights holders to sell a percentage of petroleum at prevailing market price to the state petroleum company.
Cabinet has approved the publication of the National Nuclear Regulator Amendment Bill for public comment. The bill seeks to address the existing gaps in the current National Nuclear Regulator Act, 1999 (Act 47 of 1999).
It further strengthens the enforcement provisions of the inspectors and the occupational safety exposure risks for the aircrews. It also seeks to align with the International Atomic Energy Agency prescripts and its best practices.
Food and agricultural
Cabinet approved the submission of the Agricultural Products Standards Amendment Bill for tabling in parliament.
The bill includes a number of interventions aimed at protecting customers and strengthens the regulatory framework for agricultural production, health and food safety of certain agricultural products.
The bill also tightens the control systems in areas of labelling claims in products for sale, and introduces different inspections and auditing method for the agricultural sector.
Cabinet approved the submission of the Plant Health Bill of 2020 for submission to parliament.
The bill seeks to promote safety regarding the movement of plant products for export and import. It amends measures that prevent the introduction of foreign quarantine pests and diseases, and regulates non-quarantine pests.
These amendments are aligned to the international instruments that South Africa is a signatory to, including the World Trade Organisation.