4 new bills passed by parliament – with big changes for pensions in South Africa

 ·21 Feb 2024

The National Assembly has passed four Bills, with one having a significant impact on South Africa’s pension system.

NA has passed the Revenue Laws Amendment Bill, the Plant Health (Phytosanitary) Bill, the Deeds Registries Amendment Bill, and the Municipal Fiscal Powers and Functions Amendment Bill.

The Revenue Laws Amendment Bill, the Plant Health (Phytosanitary) Bill and the Deeds Registries Amendment Bill will head to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.

On the other hand, the Municipal Fiscal Powers and Functions Amendment Bill now only needs the signature of President Cyril Ramaphosa to become law.

A breakdown of the Bills can be found below:

Revenue Laws Amendment Bill

The Revenue Laws Amendment Bill aims to change the retirement fund system in South Africa, particularly with the introduction of a two-pot retirement system.

The two-pot retirement will allow members of retirement funds to access a small part of their retirement savings before they reach retirement age.

A ‘savings pot’ will receive a maximum of one-third of all retirement savings and will be accessible before retirement age, while a ‘retirement pot’ will receive a minimum of two-thirds of all retirement savings and will only be accessible at retirement.

A third ‘vested pot’ will contain all retirement savings until the implementation date, currently touted as 1 September 2024, and follow all current legislation.

The savings pot is designed to help members in emergencies and will also minimise the risk of employees accessing all of their retirement savings should they lose or change their jobs.

Plant Health (Phytosanitary) Bill

The Plant Health (Phytosanitary) Bill aims to improve the current phytosanitary system in South Africa to meet the conditions set out by large trading partners and international agreements and treaties.

“The Bill also supports the government’s goals of sustainable natural resource management, effective national regulation, and risk management systems, as well as increasing the agriculture sector’s contribution to the country’s economic growth and development,” parliament said.

“The main objectives of the Bill are, among others, to provide phytosanitary measures that will prevent the introduction, establishment, and spread of regulated pests, ultimately safeguarding South African agriculture and natural plant resources.”

“These new measures will support safe and fair international and domestic trade, maintain current export markets, establish new markets, promote crop production and food security programmes, and create jobs.”

Deeds Registries Amendment Bill

The Deeds Registries Amendment Bill aims to amend the Deeds Registries Act of 1937 by streamlining certain administrative provisions.

It also seeks to further regulate the powers of the Minister and the Deeds Regulation Board as well as the board’s composition, extend the application of waivers of preference, introduce further corrective measures for deviant conduct, and provide for the recording of land tenure rights.

Municipal Fiscal Powers and Functions Amendment Bill

The Municipal Fiscal Powers and Functions Amendment Bill seeks to allow the Minister of Finance to amend the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) of 2013.

On a technical level, there is a change to the development charge definition.

The new definition clarifies that a development charge may contribute to the cost of capital infrastructure assets for engineering services or such cost and the cost of land for parks and open spaces regarding an application for the use of land for residential purposes.

There is also a proposed amendment to the definition of capital infrastructure assets, which defines a capital infrastructure asset as land, property, building, or any other immovable asset needed to provide an engineering service, parks and open spaces, or a municipal service.

Read: ‘Wait and see’ for food prices in South Africa

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter