Mining, agriculture bills approved

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pretoria - The Draft Marine Spatial Planning Bill, 2016 and Agricultural Products Standards Amendment Bill have been approved for submission to Parliament.

The Draft Marine Spatial Planning Bill provides a legal framework for the development of a marine spatial planning system that promotes economic growth, and is facilitated by coordinating planning across multiple sectors.

Cabinet said that the bill will promote good ocean governance by ensuring the involvement of all sectors in joint management and planning in the ocean space.

It will also facilitate conflict resolution amongst the users of space and regulatory authorities, and enhance knowledge and management in the South African ocean space.

“The bill will work towards sustainable development, rather than only conservation or environmental protection, with a view to contribute to more general social and economic objectives. It is also a key initiative of the first Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) to unlock our economic potential,” Cabinet said in statement issued on Thursday.

Agricultural Products Standards Amendment Bill

The Agricultural Products Standards Amendment Bill, which amends the Agricultural Products Standards Act, 1990 (Act No. 119 of 1990), aims to strengthen the regulatory framework for agricultural production, health and food safety of certain agricultural products.

Cabinet said such a regulatory framework promotes food safety and creates an enabling environment for increased and sustainable production.

“This will increase fair trade practices and consumer protection.”

Electronic Deeds Registration Systems Bill

Meanwhile, the Publication of the Draft Electronic Deeds Registration Systems Bill, 2016 has been released for public comment.

The bill facilitates the development, establishment and maintenance of an electronic deeds registration system that will provide, amongst others, the effective registration of large volumes of deeds as a result of government’s land reform measures.

It will also facilitate the development of improved turnaround times for providing registered deeds and documents to clients.

“This [bill] also supports the National Development Plan call for measures to be implemented in all government departments and sectors that effectively manage information and technology to ensure that South Africa does not fall victim to the digital divide,” Cabinet said. –