Trespass Act to be repealed and replaced

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Justice and Constitutional Development Minister, Ronald Lamola, says pre-democracy laws that were designed to foster apartheid and colonial policies, which still exist in South African law, must be repealed and replaced.

This after the Minister announced that a bill has been drafted to replace the Trespass Act No 6 of 1959.

“The continued existence of these laws in our statute book is not compatible with our constitutional order. We will lead the process to review and repeal these statutes. At the same time, great care should be taken to ensure that the abrogation of these statutes does not leave or create a lacuna in the law,” Lamola said.

In a statement, the department explained that although not “overtly unconstitutional, unjust or anti-democratic”, the Trespass Act was designed to create tension between groups.

“The Trespassing Act has been identified as a piece of colonial/apartheid era legislation, as it was originally designed to combat trespassing, publications and conduct engendering hostility between certain population groups. The Trespassing Act has therefore lost its relevance in our constitutional democracy,” the statement read.

The old act is expected to be replaced by the Unlawful Entry of Premises bill.

“The bill aims to prohibit unlawful entry on premises and to provide for matters connected therewith. Among other things, it provides for the offence of unlawful entry and the penalties to be imposed if a person is found to be guilty of the offence; the duty to inform an intruder of unlawful entry; the powers of the police and defences to the offence of unlawful entry,” the statement read.

The bill has been published for public comment and can be accessed on https://www.justice.gov.za/legislation/invitations/20220812-InviteToComment-UnlawfulEnteringOnPremisesBill.pdf

Comments must be submitted to Ms A Botha on or before 16 September 2022.

Comments can be posted to: The Director-General: Justice and Constitutional Development, Private Bag X 81, Pretoria, 0001. Marked for the attention of Ms A Botha.

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