Tag Archive | Carbon Tax Bill

Parliament: New legislation recently tabled

New legislation in the pipeline….

Sent to clients 16 Dec…… Of particular interest as far as new legislation is concerned affecting commerce, business and industry, Cabinet has approved a new draft Insurance Bill for tabling in Parliament.

In the same manner that “Twin Peaks” regulation has come to the finance and investment world, the Billmotor crash is intended to provide “a consolidated legal framework for the prudential supervision of the insurance sector that is consistent with international standards for the industry.”

It particularly focuses on risk management, capital and governance requirements and changes substantially both the Long-term Insurance and the Short-term Insurance Acts of 1998 relating to prudential supervision matters.

Lynne Brown refining public utilities

A draft African Exploration Mining and Finance Bill establishes this body, previously part of the public enterprises portfolio, as a legal entity in its own right, defines its mandate and sets out its strategic objectives. Minister Lynne Brown included this information in a recent briefing to the media on the Department of Public Enterprises annual report.

Whistleblower protection

Cabinet approved the introduction of the Protected Disclosures Amendment Bill, yet a further amending Bill to the Protected Disclosures Act of 2000. To the informed in the human resources profession, the amendments regulate joint liability; introduce a duty to investigate disclosures; provide for immunity against civil and criminal liability in certain circumstances; and criminalise intentional false disclosures.

The Bill contributes to government’s commitment to fight fraud and corruption by strengthening the protection of whistleblowers, said a cabinet statement on the subject.

Collecting the money

e-tollIn the transport world, Cabinet approved the introduction to Parliament in Cape Town of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill which will “assist the Road Traffic Infringement Agency and the issuing authorities to be financially stable, and also introduces efficiencies in serving notices to infringers.”   Those in Gauteng will know a lot more about this.

Utilities: Who appoints whom

Of passing interest is the submission of a Broadcasting Amendment Bill to Parliament attempting to stabilise corporate governance and bring accountability to the state as the main shareholder and provide Parliament with greater ability to carry out oversight. If only Minister Lynne Brown’s draft Shareholder Management Bill proposals could be applied in this sector, the issue of appointing board members impartially might gain traction.

Cleaning up the Act

Also an amending Bill to the Films and Publications Act has been tabled which contains re-wording of many matters, particularly so far as the Internet is concerned, and the introduction of the “penalties” by a tribunal now set up, the composition of Penalty Committee being interesting.

This will (to paraphrase only slightly) “shall consist of four members, including a chairperson, who dark imagemust be a judge or retired judge of the High Court of South Africa an advocate or attorney with at least 10 years of appropriate experience;a magistrate or retired magistrate with at least 10 years appropriate experience; or a lecturer of law or a retired lecturer of law of a South African University with at least ten years appropriate experience.”

Four other members of the Penalty Committee shall have experience in or knowledge of any one or more of the following matters…law; law enforcement; regulatory matters; film, games, publications, arts, literature; or sentencing.”

The wording insofar as far as the last four members seems extraordinary clumsy.

Health Institute underway at last

aaron motsolaediTwo new health draft Bills are out for comment from the Department of Health (DOH).    Firstly a Bill to provide for the establishment for the long talked about National Public Health Institute (NAPHISWA); the preamble to the Bill stating that this entity will consolidate existing disease and injury surveillance; provide specialised public health services; institute public health interventions and provide training and research directed towards the major health challenges affecting South Africa.

Some idea of the strategy can be obtained from the composition of its board which is to include, other than the usual officials from DOH at senior DOH level, four specialists communicable diseases; non-communicable diseases; cancer surveillance; and injury and violence prevention. There will also be a member from a university school of health.

Secondly, a draft health Bill further amending the National Health Laboratory Service Act is also out for comment.

Other issues

Submissions were to be in on a draft Debt Collectors Amendment Bill by 30 November, so the finally revised version is to be expected to be tabled some time soon.

Similarly, the draft Carbon Tax Bill was out for comment until 15 December, and with COP21 in mind,carbontax1 the media statement issued at the time by Treasury stated that “a carbon tax seeks to price carbon by obliging the polluter to internalise the external costs of emitting carbon, and contribute towards addressing the harm caused by such pollution.”

No doubt the Budget 2016 will have this and other tax matters in tax portion of the Minister’s March presentation, if not before as a Money Bill.   As far as public comments were concerned, Treasury said it would take into account in the final Bill to Parliament comments received in writing; from meetings and workshops; “and from a wide range of stakeholders including business, NGOs, academia, civil society and labour.” They also wanted comment on “the design and technical details of the carbon tax policy itself and administration.”

parliament 6Parliament will then issue its own invitation for hearings before the standing Committee on Finance but whether any further debate will enable changes to be made rather depend on whether, as a tax Bill, the document is classified as a Money Bill or not.

However, it could be important for any submissions to be made on this invitation round, since whilst Parliament cannot alter a Money Bill, if it is one, but Treasury can after a re-think.

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