South Africa: Parliament passes four bills

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) adopted four bills at its plenary meeting today, namely the Financial Sector Law Amendment Bill, the National Forest Law Amendment Bill , the draft law amending national laws on environmental management and the draft law amending the draft law on civil aviation.

The Financial Sector Law Amendment Bill is part of the Financial Sector Regulation Act 2017 (FSRA) or “Twin Peaks”, regulatory reforms introduced in 2011, which cover the conduct and transformation of the sector. financial. The main objective of this bill is to deal with banking risks, failures and weaknesses and to mitigate the impacts of the financial crisis. More importantly, it aims to fill gaps in current financial legislation, made necessary in part by lessons learned from the 2008/09 global financial crisis and national experiences, and to strengthen the financial stability mandate of the Bank of South African Reserve (SARB) and to expand its objective of protecting depositors.

Among other things, the bill proposes the introduction of a new Chapter 12A to the LSRA, which will establish a framework for the resolution of designated institutions and a deposit insurance regime. This aims to create a resolution framework to ensure that the impact of a failure of a bank or systemically important financial institution is managed in an orderly manner. The bill also proposes that the resolution process take place under the direction and control of the SARB, which will be the resolution authority. It further proposes the creation of a deposit insurance scheme, which includes a deposit insurance company and a deposit insurance fund, as well as the creation of a hierarchy of creditors to ensure the protection of depositors. in the event of liquidation and compliance with “no worse creditor extinguished”.

The Special Finance Committee facilitated an extensive public consultation process on the bill and found it to support the goals of the FSRA, to which the current FSLAB reports. The report states that these objectives are aimed at maintaining the stability of the financial system; maintain the strength of regulated financial institutions; protect consumers of financial products and services; increase access to financial products and services; and fight against market abuse and financial crime.

The report further states that the results of these goals are expected to benefit society at large, including retail financial clients; financial institutions and their shareholders; poorest households; small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and rural development programs. A copy of the report is available here (from page 128).

The NCOP has also passed national laws on forestry, environmental management, and civil aviation. These three legislative texts are part of the bills initially tabled during the fifth legislature and taken up by the National Council of Provinces during the sixth legislature.

The bill amending the National Forests Bill was before the Special Committee on Agrarian Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy. The committee facilitated broad public participation in the bill, including calls for written submissions and public hearings held by provincial legislatures.

The bill aims, among other things, to amend the National Forests Act of 1998 to provide clear definitions of forests and woodlands and public ownership of these spaces in order to increase the promotion and enforcement of forest and woodland land. sustainable forest management; and to control and remedy deforestation.

Among the major changes approved are the new definitions of “destruction of a natural forest” in the sense of “any action by which one or more trees in a natural forest are felled or killed, or the undergrowth removed, for any purpose. land use or resource use ”and“ wooded forests ”, which now means“ a group of native trees that are not natural forests, but whose crowns cover at least 5% of the area that they occupy, and which may, in a degraded state, have a crown cover of less than 5%; or any type of vegetation declared wooded by the Minister by notice in the Official Journal. A copy of the report is available here (from on page 2).

The NCOP also passed the National Environmental Management Law Amendment Bill, which was before the Special Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy. The bill seeks to amend a number of provisions to clarify issues and text changes that fall under various related laws, such as the National Environmental Management Act of 1998; the 2003 law on national environmental management: protected areas; national environmental management: 2004 biodiversity law; and the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act of 2004, to name a few. The committee consulted widely on the bill, including calls for written submissions and the facilitation of public hearings, which were held by provincial legislatures. A copy of the report is available here (from page 165).

The fourth bill passed by the NCOP is the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill which seeks to amend the Civil Aviation Act of 2009, including a provision on the operational independence of accident investigation and aviation incidents; rectify the provisions relating to the establishment of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (including by giving it an environmental protection oversight function and by treating it as a preferred creditor with regard to any amount of money, fees, charges or levies collected on its behalf).

After an extensive consultation process through public hearings and written submissions, the NCOP Select Committee on Transportation, Utilities and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure received enough submissions from a number of various stakeholders involved and recommended that the Bill be considered with the recommended changes made. .

The bills will now be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa for approval.

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