Parliament has confirmed the finalisation of the proposed amendments to the Disaster Management Act of 2002-Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma briefs the media
Parliament has confirmed the finalisation of the proposed amendments to the Disaster Management Act of 2002.
Briefing MPs during the National Assembly’s Programming Committee meeting on Thursday, Parliament unit manager Mongana Tau indicated that the process of drafting the Disaster Management Amendment Bill has been completed.
The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) finalised the Bill on Tuesday.
This after the committee held deliberations on the Bill in February and earlier this month following stakeholder engagements.
The Bill is now expected to go the National Assembly for a debate, after it was published in the government gazette last July for public comment.
After the debate, MPs in the National Assembly will vote on whether to pass the Bill or not, and proceed to the select committees for discussion.
It will then go to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for a debate and vote, before it is sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa for approval, according to Parliament’s website on “how laws are made“.
The proposed amendments to the Disaster Management Act could see some major changes to South Africa’s State of Disaster and Covid-19 lockdown regulations if it is signed into law by Ramaphosa.
- THE KEY CHANGES ARE
The national State of Disaster may be effective only “prospectively” for no more than 21 days from the date of declaration, unless the National Assembly resolves to extend it.
- The National Assembly may extend a national State of Disaster for no more than three months at a time
The first extension of the national State of Disaster must be by a resolution adopted with a supporting vote of a majority of the members of the National Assembly.
- Any subsequent extension must be by a resolution adopted with a supporting vote of at least 60% of the members of the National Assembly.
- The resolution may only be adopted after a public debate in the National Assembly
The Bill states that a Minister may terminate a national state of disaster by notice in the Government Gazette before it lapses.
- Only the National Assembly, a provincial legislature or a municipal council may resolve to extend a declaration of a national, provincial or local state of disaster respectively and for how long.
- While a copy of the notice declaring a national State of Disaster must be tabled by the minister, the National Assembly may disapprove of any regulations or directions made under such a declaration or may make recommendations to the minister pertaining to such regulations and directions
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