National Assembly, NCOP pass raft of bills

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The National Assembly and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday passed several Bills at their plenary sittings as Parliament begins to wind down for 2018. 

The Cybercrimes Bill, Child Justice Amendment Bill, National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill and National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill were the four legislations passed by the National Assembly on Tuesday. 

Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said the general purpose of the Cybercrimes Bill is to criminalise the distribution of data messages which are harmful and provide for interim protection orders.

“Further to that, the Bill seeks to regulate the powers to investigate cybercrimes,” he said. 

The Child Justice Amendment Bill aims to amend the Child Justice Act of 2008, which includes further regulating the minimum age of criminal capacity and provisions about decisions to prosecute a child who is 12 years or older but under the age of 14 years.

“The Bill further aims to regulate the proof of criminal capacity; the assessment report by the probation officer as well as factors to be considered by a prosecutor when diverting a matter before a preliminary inquiry,” he said.

The National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill seeks to address practical challenges identified in the application of various Acts. 

“The Bill seeks to amend seven (7) Acts of Parliament. These are the Environmental Management Act of 1998; the National Environmental Management - Protected Areas Act, 2003; the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004; the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004; the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008; the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008; and the National Environmental Management Amendment Act, 2008,” Mothapo said.

Also adopted is the National Qualifications Framework Amendment of 2008, which includes verification of all qualifications or part-qualifications by the SA Qualifications Authority; and formulating criteria for evaluating foreign qualifications.

The Bill furthers seeks to provide for the establishment and maintenance of separate registers of misrepresented or fraudulent qualifications or part-qualifications. 

The Bills approved will now be sent to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for concurrence.

During its plenary sitting the NCOP passed the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill.

“The Bill seeks to promote road traffic quality by providing for a scheme that discourages road traffic contraventions and facilitate the efficient adjudication of road traffic infringements,” he said.

The Bill will now be returned to the National Assembly for concurrence. –