Tag Archive | mrchant shipping

Oil pollution in SA waters to be tackled

Oil pollution clean up fund….

oil_tankerWith a series of Bills on merchant shipping, South Africa is about to fall into line with international conventions on oil pollution at sea. The department of transport has now briefed the relevant parliamentary committee on two bills, the last of four now being dealt with designed to fund South Africa’s ability to clean up on any future oil spills in regional waters.

Opposition members pointed out that the minister of transport, who tabled the Bill, appeared not to have consulted with environmental parties in the drafting of the Bill and in subsequent discussions with stakeholders, being merely concerned with SA’s international obligations and the collection of levies by SARS for a fund, they said.

Getting the law right

Advocate Adam Masombuka, chief director for legal services, department of transport (DOT), said that before them were the tandem Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability Convention) Bill and the Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Contributions Bill, the first being designed to enact the International Maritime Organisation Protocol of 1992 and the second to create mechanisms for companies to pay into a fund for oil pollution damage.

Both would ensure that the amended International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage of 1969 becomes law in South Africa, he said.   He added that the other two Bills were Money Bills, separately being tabled by Treasury to deal with the collection of tariffs by SARS and consequent distribution.

Polluter pays

“The purpose of the fund is to pay compensation to victims of pollution damage and the fund is to be financed by cargo owners, namely those who transport more than 150 000 tonnes of oil per annum”, Adv. Masombuka said.   He gave the assurance that the Bill was fully supported  by the fuel companies importing oil and by the SA Petroleum Producers Association.

The two Bills are in tandem; conform to international best practices and complement each other, he said. He told parliamentarians that enactment of the Bills would provide a fund for insurance against damages from shipping accidents; the ship owners carrying the oil cargo being covered by insurance with a fee into the fund and the cargo owners, mainly the fuel companies or their agents who imported oil products, paying a levy.

The fund itself acted as a “top-up” insurance to pay the outstanding balance for any pollution damages, said Adv. Masombuka. The portfolios committee did not present any objections to either Bill.

Like carbon tax

Hamida Fakira, deputy director general, DOT explained to MPs asking questions that in reality that ship companies  conveying the goods paid an insurance for liability for any accident but the oil companies, the cargo owners importing petroleum, had to contribute as it was a pollutant.   It was a similar issue to that of carbon tax, she said.

Opposition members pointed to the fact that whilst the oil companies, DOT and the relevant international agreements seemed to be all lined up, nobody had consulted with environmental bodies and obtained their views. “This will come out during early August parliamentary hearings”, commented the chairperson.

Refer previous articles in this category

Posted in Energy, Enviro,Water, Facebook and Twitter, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Justice, constitutional, Land,Agriculture, LinkedIn, Public utilities, Trade & Industry, Transport0 Comments

This website is Archival

If you want your publications as they come from Parliament please contact ParlyReportSA directly. All information on this site is posted two weeks after client alert reports sent out.

Upcoming Articles

  1. Jeremy Cronin back on land expropriation issue
  2. Integrated Energy Plan reflects cleaned-up thinking
  3. Changes to Companies Act headed for Parliament
  4. State Bank a strong possibility with certain provisos
  5. No more Competition Commission yellow card warnings
  6. Business to meet transformation targets by law

Earlier Editorials

Earlier Stories

  • AARTO licence demerit system studied  …. In what has been a legislative marathon, the update of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) has now reached a stage […]

  • SARS role at border posts being clarified …. In adopting the Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs agreed with a wording that at all future one-stop border […]

  • Modernising SAPO a culture change ….. sent to clients 27 February…. Stage by stage, Mark Barnes, Group Chief Executive Officer of South African Post Office (SAPO), appears to be reforming cultures and […]

  • OECD money task force waiting for SA   ….sent to clients Feb 7…. Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Yunus Carrim, made it quite clear in terms of parliamentary rules that […]

  • President Zuma vs Parliament on FICA Bill …..editorial……The convoluted thinking that is taking place in South Africa to avoid the consequences of the law has once again become evident in […]