During Tuesday’s plenary sitting, the National Assembly passed the Public Audit Excess Fee Bill, Public Service Commission Amendment Bill, as well as the Films and Publications Amendment Bill ahead of the legislative shutdown prior to the 2019 elections.
This was done in an effort to conclude parliament’s work ahead of the election of a new government in May and are awaiting the signature of the president to pass them into law.
What do the bills entail?
According to SA News, the Public Audit Excess Fee Bill seeks to provide that the specified excess of the audit fee of certain categories of organs of state, payable to the Auditor-General, as envisaged in the Public Audit Act, 2004, is if the stated conditions are complied with, a direct charge against the National Revenue Fund.
The Public Service Commission Amendment Bill seeks to amend the Public Service Commission Act to clarify the procedure with regards to the renewal of the term of office of a commissioner.
Further, it is to provide for a commissioner to act as the chairperson when both the chairperson and deputy chairperson are absent or, for any reason, unable to act as chairperson.
The Films and Publications Amendment Bill, on the other hand, seeks to amend the Act, among other things, to align the definition of child pornography.
It will also decriminalise the online distribution of adult content on all platforms including digital platforms and to provide for the establishment of a co-regulation system that will allow for accreditation by the board of independent classification bodies to classify their own digital films, games and publications.
Furthermore, the National Assembly also agreed that amending section 25 of the Constitution – to make explicit the laws around expropriation of land without compensation as a legitimate option for land reform – should be left for the sixth democratic parliament to conclude.
It will be established after the 8 May elections.