Public to comment on Bill proposing tighter gun controls

Thursday, May 13, 2021

The public will soon comment on the Firearms Amendment Bill of 2021, which proposes tighter controls and management of firearms as well as the establishment of the National Firearms Register.

In a Cabinet statement released on Thursday, Cabinet said it had approved the publication of the Bill for public comment.

“The changes will assist in reducing the number of firearms in private hands and consequently reduce incidents of violent crimes. The Bill also improves the processing, control of firearms and the application system,” Cabinet said.

Cabinet also approved the publication of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill for public comment.

“The review seeks to align the South African legislative framework to international laws that seek to combat terrorism," the Cabinet statement said.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 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 terrorist-related content. The amendments also respond to the gaps that where highlighted by the UN Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate,” the Cabinet statement said.

Agricultural Product Standards Amendment Bill

Cabinet has approved the submission of the Agricultural Products Standards Amendment Bill for tabling in Parliament.

The Agricultural Product Standards Act, 1990 (Act 119 of 1990) provides for the control of sales and exports of certain agricultural products and promotes food safety.

“The interventions seek to protect consumers. The proposed amendments strengthen the regulatory framework for agricultural production, health and food safety of certain agricultural products.

“The Bill tightens the control systems in areas of labelling claims in products for sale, and introduces different inspections and auditing methods, amongst others,” the Cabinet statement said.

The Bill has gone through wide public consultations with all relevant stakeholders and it will go through another rigorous parliamentary process before it is passed into law.

Plant Health (Phytosanitary) Bill of 2020

In addition, 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,” the Cabinet statement said.

South Africa is the signatory to the WTO Agreement on Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement and the International Plant Protection Convention.

This Bill will repeal the current Agricultural Pest Act, 1983 (Act 36 of 1983), which does not take into account the WTO Agreement and the International Plant Protection Convention.

It will promote safe export and import agricultural trade for South Africa. 

National Nuclear Regulator Amendment Bill

Cabinet also 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 strengthens the enforcement provisions of the inspectors and the occupational safety exposure risks for the air crews. It also seeks to align with the International Atomic Energy Agency prescripts and its best practice. South Africa is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency,” the Cabinet statement said.

Draft Upstream Petroleum Resources Development Bill

Moreover, 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.

“It also provides clarity on, amongst others, the application system; permits and rights issuing; transferability of the rights; participation by black persons; participation of the State; the transitional requirements and the strategic stock requirements for petroleum rights holders to sell a percentage of petroleum at prevailing market price to the State Petroleum Company,” the Cabinet statement said. – SAnews.gov.za

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