Major Legislation to be introduced soon - 5 Acts to Follow | Legal Articles


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Major Legislation to be introduced soon - 5 Acts to Follow

Five major pieces of legislation

By the end of January 2018 there were 41 bills in Parliament. Many of these are expected to be finalised within the first term of president Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Legislation 2018

Aside from this, the amount of drafted legislation that needs to be introduced into parliament as of yet, will most likely keep law makers busy this year. 

In anticipation of the many changes that will be introduced, we have listed the five major pieces of legislation that will be put into effect. 

1. Smoking laws 

By the end of March 2018, there will be new proposals presented which will introduce changes to smoking laws in South Africa. 

These changes were expected back in 2017 when the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act was presented and should be submitted for approval by the cabinet early in the year.

These new regulations intend to put a bans on smoking in all public spaces, remove branding from cigarette packs, as well as, regulate the use of electronic cigarettes. 

Being introduced in 20115, the public interest in these proposals has increased due the number of new strict smoking laws that will be enforced if it gets the go-ahead.

To name a few, there will be a zero-tolerance policy on smoking indoors and in public places. This will mean that designated smoking areas in restaurants will be removed as well.

This ban will extend to smoking in outdoor public places, and if a smoker intends on smoking outside, this will need to be done at least 10 metres away from any public entrances. 

Any signage or advertising on cigarette package will need to be removed. This excludes warning disclaimers or the brand name. And retailers will no longer be allowed to display cigarettes publicly.  

2. Hate speech laws

It was confirmed on 7 March that soon the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill will be tabled. 

Because there are a large number of characteristics which the term hate speech now covers, many are fearing the negative effects that even petty insults could stir up with the law. And so there are obvious controversies surrounding the bill.  

While there are only four characteristics which are protected by the Constitution (race, ethnicity, religion and gender), the bill aims to protect seventeen characteristic (culture, belief, occupation and gender identity etc.).

3. Internet censorship laws

On 6 March, the Films and Publications Amendment Bill was passed by the National Assembly. However, many throughout the country have scrutinised the bill due to the fact that online content could be potentially censored as a result. 

The bill will be mean that user-generated content, including YouTube videos, pictures and music can be regulated. This could possibly result in online distributors being blocked due to non-compliance. 

4. New drinking laws

When passed, The Liquor Amendment Bill will bring about a few very big changes regarding drinking laws in the Country. 

While it was initially accepted, many have since changed their viewpoint on it because the department of health have included a few adjustments at the last minute. 

The advertising of alcohol, for one, will be entirely banned. Also, the age limit at which a person can be supplied with liquor or methylated spirits will increase from 18 to 21 years old. 

Alcoholic advertisements aimed at people under the age of 21 will also banned. 

The manufacturing, distributing and the selling of liquor in retail stores will be prohibited in rural and urban communities. 

This includes areas within 500 metres of a school, place of worship, recreational facility, rehabilitation or treatment centres, residential areas, any public institutions and amenities. 

Any manufacturers and suppliers of alcohol that are found distributing to illegal or unlicensed outlets will be held liable for the damages caused as a result. 

5. Congestion Tax

In hopes of improving the road systems in South Africa, a new draft roads policy was released by the Department of Transport. 

In order to raise the funds required a proposed increase in fuel levy and vehicle license fees, tolling and other funding measures were considered. 

Focus has been placed on the improvement of budget expenditure in the roads sector, as well as the support from the government to adopt a user-pay principle in the form of tolling, congestion charges, and charging for the amount of weight carried over a distance and so forth.

Van Deventer & Van Deventer Incorporated - Attorneys Johannesburg & Cape Town

Please contact us for professional legal advice.

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