Denise Williams
2 minute read
20 Jan 2016
7:00 am

Motlanthe heads panel to probe impact of laws

Denise Williams

It may recommend to parliament that some legislation be scrapped or amended.

FILE PICTURE: Former Deputy Preseident Kgalema Motlanthe. Picture: GCIS

Parliament has appointed an independent panel of experts to probe legislation passed as far back as 1994 to determine the impact of the laws in practice.

The panel of 17, chaired by former president Kgalema Motlanthe, had its inaugural meeting yesterday.

Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete said the panel aimed to review legislation, assess implementation, identify gaps and propose actions.

This would be done within a 12-month period and the findings and recommendations would be submitted to the Speakers’ Forum.

Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli said it was a “review of necessity”.

“Some of those recommendations might be so radical that they suggest this piece of legislation is completely out of order; kill it or ‘no’ amend it,” said Tsenoli.

“It is in the implementation where the poopoo hits the fan; that the real things will emerge; it is from that we would love to draw what we should do differently,” he said.

As a mammoth amount of legislation had been passed since 1994, four key areas had been highlighted to be focused on.

These were laws dealing with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality; creation and equitable distribution of wealth; land reform, restitution, redistribution and security of tenure and nation building and social cohesion.

Former CEO of the Human Sciences Research Council Olive Shisana said the panel would bring “fresh views and a different lens” as it was independent and not politically motivated by party views.

“There must be some legislation out there that had an unintended consequences and therefore they can come back and say ‘here is a problem, we need to do something about it’, we [can] say to parliament can you re-think this kind of legislation?”

While the panel would report its findings to the speaker of parliament, members were not financially beholden to it.

Former UN high commissioner for human rights, Judge Navi Pillay, said the UN Development Programme had offered financial assistance.

“I’m speaking very much personally when I pronounce on things, the question of remuneration did not arise; no single member of this panel raised the question or expects remuneration,” said Pillay.