Issue No. 52
Legislation enacted since the June Election
12 October 1999
The Prevention of Organised Crime Second Amendment Act (Act 38-99)
This amendment to the Organised Crime Act seeks to clear up the issue of retrospectivity. In a number of highly publicised rulings, judges have found the existing Act not to apply to goods obtained through organised crime before the Act came into being. But this is not likely to be the last of the challenges that this legislation faces as there are concerns that this legislation has aspects that are unconstitutional. Where similar legislation has been enacted in other countries there have been problems in the initial period and these will have to be faced here as well.
Financial Markets Control Amendment Act (Act 40 – 99)
This is a one clause amendment to the Financial Markets Control Act of 1989 which enables “the Minister of Finance to make regulations regarding the manner in which the amalgamation of a financial exchange and the transfer of the business of a financial exchange or part of its business to a stock exchange may take place.”
Closed Pension Fund Amendment Act (Act 41 – 99)
This Amendment of only one clause amends the Closed Pension Fund Act of 1993, so as to extend the State’s remaining obligations to the Closed Pension Fund, to include the payment of interest and to provide for an alternative method of payment.
National Gambling Amendment Act (Act 39 – 99)
This Amendment to the National Gambling Act of 1996 was passed for the express purpose of clearing up the ambiguity of the Act regarding the disposal of financial interests owned by the state in a company involved in gambling activities.
While the North West Development Corporation is an organisation with which the state is concerned, there is a difference of opinion as to whether the old law applies to this organisation. The Amendment seeks to clear up this confusion.
The NWDC is under judicial management, and were it to be forced to dispose of its assets (under the old law) by May 1999, it would have meant disposal of the assets at way below their market value. The Minister has proclaimed 10 May 2003 as the cut-off date for disposal of assets.
It is worth noting that the DP was divided on this Bill, with most voting for the Bill but Nigel Bruce amongst others taking an opposing position to that of Ken Andrew in the committee.
Bills Passed by NA and on Order Paper for debate in the NCOP
The Abolition of Certain Title Conditions Bill (Bill 40B-99)
Currently there exists land which has, in its title deeds, clauses that restrict the transfer of that land to a new owner without the consent of the President or one of his or her predecessors, such as the Governor-General.
Sometimes it is not clear whether the Minister of Land Affairs is in law the competent authority and in many cases the consent is merely a relic of the past. But complying with these technicalities takes a lot of resources in government and delays development and the use of land. The law does not seek to undermine other laws which regulate the use of the land, town planning regulations, mineral rights and so on.
Bills Passed by the NA and before NCOP Committees
The Rental Housing Bill (Bill 29-99)
This Bill was drafted as a response to the numerous requests from the community and from stakeholders to abolish the current Rent Control Act. Responding to this the Department initiated a study by local and international experts which resulted in this Bill.
Aims of the Bill
To facilitate the delivery of new rental housing stock and the proper management and maintenance of existing rental stock.
The Bill addresses the following concerns:
- The perceived high risk among investors of non-payment among tenants of rents and service charges. The Bill introduces stability into the rental housing market and thereby encourages private investment in the sector; and
- the Bill deals with exploitative rentals and the lack of building management and maintenance and collapsing services by empowering tenants to challenge irresponsible landlords to provide rental accommodation of a standard commensurate with rental levels.
The Bill also makes provision for the clarification of the roles of tenants and landlords regarding their respective roles, duties and responsibilities through appropriate lease agreements. It makes provision for the setting up of a rental subsidy housing programme in line with the Housing Act of 1997 and introduces Rental Housing Tribunals whose primary purpose is dispute resolution between tenant and landlord. In extreme cases the tribunal will be able to determine a rental.
World Heritage Convention Bill (Bill 42-99)
This Bill will provide the legislation which, in terms of section 231(4) of the Constitution, is required to enact the World Heritage Convention Treaty into law. The Convention imposes an obligation on the National Government to guarantee its implementation and ensure that South Africa’s obligations under the treaty receive the proper support for their effective implementation. This support includes legal protection, appropriate institutional structures, proper management plans in place, proper monitoring and enough money to look after our Heritage Sites, and to ensure that our cultural heritage is preserved .
Part two of the Bill deals with the implications for provinces and local government.
Mutual Banks Amendment Bill (Bill 47-99) currently before Committee of 1st house (N/A – 75)
This Bill seeks to amend the principal Act, The Mutual Banks Act, 1993, in the same way that the Banks Amendment Act 1994 amended the Bank Act of 1990.
It is fairly technical in nature and deals with issues like the criteria for certain officers and executives, regulating who can serve on the board, changing the registration procedure of Mutual Banks and generally clearing up ambiguities and streamlining regulation and administration of Mutual Banks.