Social & Community, Jan. 14, 2020, 9:45 a.m.

Flood of important legislation opened for public comment

Author: riaan@wecanchange.co.za

As expected, our government published an overwhelming number of Bills and legislative amendments over the December holiday, with many calls for comment closing before the end of January.

These are NOT petitions - they are legally mandated policy-shaping opportunities which, by law, require public input. Please browse the summaries and click the links below to have your say – or encourage your colleagues to participate.

A misguided remark we often hear is;
Why comment - it's not going to make any difference, government won't listen.

Well, by law, the government must individually acknowledge and consider each public comment sent through our system. Most importantly, the law enables participants (or organisations acting on behalf of) to question the outcome or final decision — the higher the public participation, the stronger the mandate. Your participation is essential to create meaningful impact.

 

Constitution Amendment Bill

CLOSES 31 JANUARY. DearSA has received over 80,000 comments in this final participation round - far below what is required.  Cheryl, you have until 31 January to respond to an invitation from parliament to comment on this proposed constitution amendment - which caters for expropriation without compensation. This is the final opportunity for the public to influence this extremely important amendment. 

It is not a petition. It is essential that we see mass participation in order to accurately reflect public sentiment. 

Whether you are opposed to or agree with the amendment, please have your say now as policy cannot be withdrawn after implementation. Time is running out.

Click to have your say on the Amendment Bill

 

Nationalising sports and gyms

CLOSES 28 FEB. The draft amendment bill gives the minister a direct hand in practically everything to do with sports and fitness in the country, which could extend to selecting sports teams, or any other directive that falls in line with the department’s goal of ensuring “transformation in sport”.

CLICK TO HAVE YOUR SAY

 

Eskom tariff hike

CLOSES 20 JAN. Despite ongoing power cuts, Eskom has applied to the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) for a 17% tariff increase to recover R27bn they apparently lost from load shedding. NERSA has asked for public comment and will then assess Eskom’s application following due regulatory processes. Mass public participation is essential to influence NERSA's decision.

CLICK TO HAVE YOUR SAY

 

Carbon Tax Regulations

CLOSES 17 JAN. The regulations set out the financial exposure and carbon emissions allowances facing all companies. The regulations outline the eligibility criteria for offset projects and sets out the procedure for claiming the offset allowance.

CLICK TO HAVE YOUR SAY

 

National Forests Amendment Bill

CLOSES 24 JAN. The Bill seeks to;
• provide for clear definitions of natural forests and woodlands;
• provide for public trusteeship of the nation’s forestry resources;
• increase the promotion and enforcement of sustainable forest management;
• increase the measures provided for in the Act to control and remedy deforestation;
• provide for appeals against decisions taken under delegated powers and duties;
• reinforce offences and penalties; and to provide for matter connected therewith.

CLICK TO HAVE YOUR SAY 

 

Other Bills

  • National Waste Management Strategy
  • Mineral and Petroleum Resources Regulations
  • Municipal Fiscal Powers and Functions Amendment Bill

CLICK TO HAVE YOUR SAY ON THESE BILLS