Parliament passed 11 Bills today
At its last sitting ahead of the May 8th elections, the National Council of Provinces considered and passed a total of 11 Bills.
One of the crucial Bills passed was the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill, which seeks, among others, to strengthen protection of the intellectual property of performers and to ensure that performers reap the benefits of their artistic work. For example, the Bill provides for royalties or equitable remuneration to be payable when a performance is sold or rented out.
The rest of the Bills, which will be sent to the President for assent, are the:
- 2019 Division of Revenue Bill
- Carbon Tax Bill
- Customs and Excise Amendment Bill
- Public Investment Corporation Bill
- Financial Matters Amendment Bill
- Public Audit Excess Fee Bill
- Copyright Amendment Bill
- Property Practitioners Bill
- Electronic Deeds Registration Systems Bill
- Repeal of the Overvaal Resorts Limited Bill
Six international agreements were approved at today’s sitting, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution. This section says that certain international agreements bind the Republic only after they have been approved by resolution in both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces.
The agreements approved are the World Intellectual Property Organisation Copyright Treaty; the World Intellectual Property Organisation Performances and Phonograms Treaty; the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, 2012; the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment; the Southern African Development Community Protocol on Environmental Management for Sustainable Development; and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer to include Hydrofluorocarbons.
The National Council of Provinces is scheduled to rise today. However, its Members will remain in office until the day of the first sitting of the Provincial Legislatures, after the 8 May elections. The National Assembly, which held its last sitting on 20 March, also remains competent to function until 7 May, a day before the elections.
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