Bill Watch 15 - Parliament Passes Four Bills, then Adjourns Until after the Elections

BILL WATCH 15/2018

13th June 2018

Parliament Now in Recess Until the Elections

At close of business last Thursday, 7th June 2018, both Houses adjourned until 31st July, the day after polling day in the coming election. 

This was Parliament’s way of saying that it does not intend to meet again before its automatic dissolution at midnight on 29th July in terms of section 144(1) of the Constitution.  That section provides that “Parliament is elected for a five-year term … and stands dissolved at midnight on the day before the first polling day in the next general election”]

Note: Only the President has the power to override Parliament’s decision.  Section 146 of the Constitution allows him to summon Parliament at any time to conduct “special business”.

Any unfinished work of Parliament will lapse on dissolution

Section 147 of the Constitution provides that “on the dissolution of Parliament, all proceedings pending at the time are terminated and every Bill, motion, petition and other business lapses”.   Only one Bill remained unfinished when Parliament rose.  That was the Companies and Other Business Entities Bill [see further below].  

Public Entities Corporate Governance Act Now in Force

This important Act came into operation on 8th June 2018, the date fixed by the President by Statutory Instrument 89/2018 which was gazetted the same day in terms of section 1(2) of the Act.  The Act itself was gazetted on 11th May. 

Bills Passed by Parliament Last Week

By close of business on Wednesday 6th June Parliament had passed all the Bills on its Order Papers with the exception of the Companies and Other Business Entities Bill.

On Tuesday, in just under two-and-a-half hours, the Senate started and completed work on three Bills, passing them without amendment:

Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill

The Bill will go to the President as amended by the National Assembly.  We hope to make the amended version available in due course.

Civil Aviation Amendment Bill

The Bill will go to the President as amended by the National Assembly.  We hope to make the amended version available in due course.

Public Health Bill [link]

As this Bill passed through both Houses without amendment, it will go to the President in its original form.

Also on Tuesday, the National Assembly completed the Second Reading stage of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Amendment Bill [link], with the presentation of the report on the previous week’s public hearings on the Bill, contributions from MPs and responses from the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to points raised in the report and during debate.  The remaining stages were taken immediately and the Bill was passed without amendment and transmitted to the Senate.  The Senate passed it without amendment on 6th June.

Passed Bills Awaiting Presidential Assent
and Gazetting as Acts

Last week’s work on Bills brought up to six the number of Bills now being prepared by Parliament and the Government Printer for submission to the President for his assent and gazetting as Acts of Parliament in due course: 

Insolvency Bill

Shop Licences Amendment Bill

Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill

Civil Aviation Amendment Bill

Public Health Bill

Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Amendment Bill.

Companies and Other Business Entities Bill
Due to Lapse on Dissolution of Parliament

The Second Reading stage of this Bill [link] was due to begin in the National Assembly last week, but did not.  No explanation was provided.

As mentioned earlier in this bulletin, the Bill will lapse when this Parliament comes to an end at midnight on 29th July – unless both Houses are specially recalled to deal with the Bill and it is then passed. 

New Government Bills

Three new Government Bills are in the pipeline to Parliament:

Already gazetted

  • Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill [link] [gazetted on 8th June]

This Bill seeks to stablish a Tripartite Negotiating Forum whose mandate will be to ensure consultation, cooperation and negotiation on social and economic issues by Government, Organised Business and Organised Labour.  It will be on the Veritas website shortly.

Sent to Government Printer, but not yet gazetted

  • Consumer Protection Bill
  • Forest Amendment Bill.

Government Gazettes 1st and 8th June

Statutory Instruments [SIs] of 1st June

Supreme Court Rules [SI 84/2018]  New rules of court for the Supreme Court, effective 1st June [not yet available from Veritas].

Electricity  Two sets of regulations: Customer Supplied Prepayment Meter Scheme Regulations [SI 85/2018] and Net Metering Regulations [86/2018]. [available from Veritas]

Statutory Instruments of 8th June

Error in Election Proclamation  SI 88/2018 corrects an error in the Presidential proclamation calling the election [SI 83/2018].  On page 1087 of the proclamation delete “four” and substitute “five” in paragraph (f)(i)E and paragraph (f)(i)H.

Civil Aviation  Air Operators Certification and Administration Regulations [SI 87/2018]

Public Entities Corporate Governance Act  Date of commencement – 8th June [SI 89/2018] [see note above]

National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Regulations [SI 90/2018] [link] [to be summarised in a separate Commissions Watch bulletin]

General Notice of 1st June [Gazette Extraordinary]

Magistrates designated for trial of politically-motivated crimes  [GN 379/2018]  [See Election Watch 21/2018 link].

General Notice of 8th June

Tripartite Negotiating Forum Bill [link]  GN 384/2018 notified the gazetting of this Bill [see note above].

 

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