It takes 410 days from the introduction to commencement of a Bill. The introduction of the bill itself is generally not in its final form. It goes through a process of “public consultation, line by line scrutiny and consideration by both the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces, resulting in amendments”. Furthermore, the time it takes to go through the required stages is dependent inter alia on “the length of the Bill, its importance, costing, complexity and how controversial it is”.
To this end the Protection of State Information Bill, because of its controversy resulted in Parliament taking 1344 days to pass it into law. However a bill can be fast tracked. In this context a Bill which is urgent or introduced as a result of a crisis “may be passed in a matter of days”. To this end as pointed out by the Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) on its website, the “National Assembly and the NCOP amended the Sexual Offences Act in three days (in 2012) in response to a Western Cape High Court ruling which deemed some sections of the Act unconstitutional”.
The signing of the Bill by the President into law is not automatic. In this regard he “has the opportunity to assess the constitutionality of a bill and can refer it back to Parliament for reconsideration if he has any reservations”. Also “[w]hen exercising this right, the President seeks counsel and considers submissions and petitions made to him” and this sometimes “includes listening to concerns from beyond the country such as foreign governments and international bodies”.
Once a bill is signed it is triggered into force but it generally “takes some time for it to come into operation”. Moreover, “most provisions in an Act will either come into operation within a set period after assent or at a time fixed by the government” which in turn “gives the government and those stakeholders who are directly affected by the Act time to plan accordingly”. In some instances “an Act may require certain actions to be taken by the Department” prior to it being implemented. In this context, for example, “subordinate legislation (regulations, determinations, rules) may have to be prepared, approved and gazetted”.
Here’s an historical account of the time periods involved with some of the Bills:
Shortest time: introduction to commencement
“21 days: Special Adjustments Appropriation Bill 2007
27 days: Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act Amendment Bill 2012
30 days: Regulation of Interception of Communications-Related Information Amendment Bill 2010”
Longest time: introduction and commencement
2812 days: Immigration Amendment Bill 2006
2227 days: Mineral and Petroleum Resource Development Amendment Bill 2007
2094 days: Firearms Control Amendment Bill 2006
The recent motion by the EFF for Land Expropriation without Compensation (LEWC) which was passed in the National Assembly with the majority vote of the ANC and which referred the issue for review to the Constitutional Review Committee is an event that is located at the very beginning of the above process. Hence it will take at least 410 days before the Bill is enacted for commencement. This effectively takes commencement of the Bill beyond the date of the 2019 General Elections.
Moreover both the ANC’s and EFF’s post parliamentary motion clarifications can be summed up in the declaration by EFF leader Julius Malema in allying white fears. To this end Malema says that all land must be expropriated by the state, no-one will own any land – everyone will be allocated land for use. Land from those who are farming and using land productively must not be taken from them. So basically all land (which is all productive land) in the hands of whites must remain in white hands. So while ownership of all land will vest in the state, the use and enjoyment patterns will remain in favour of whites. What this effectively means is that for whites to lose ownership of land makes no difference – they will still dominate and hence have hegemony of this means of production.
All this suggests that both the EFF and the ANC and others who adopted the LEWC motion, have no intention of fast tracking the process – including setting aside the current adopted motion on LEWC and instead finalising the Expropriation Bill that President Zuma returned to the National Assembly in 2016 for further action. The referred Expropriation Bill can be finalised in two months as opposed to the current motion which if realized into a bill will take at least 410 days for commencement.
Furthermore those adopting the motion acted in bad faith knowing full well that:
– the content of the motion does not mean return all land to the black majority without compensation. It means blacks will get reject unproductive land while whites retain all the productive land; and
– the time it will take for the adopted motion to be processed into a Bill and then passed into law will take us well beyond the 2019 General Elections by which time blacks would have already been duped into voting them back into power and it will be too late to reverse their votes.
In all of the above circumstances it is clear that there will be no actual LEWC via the motion referred to the Constitutional Review Committee for review – note review doesn’t mean amendment.
Learn the cold and liberating truth! Land occupations is the only way to real LEWC.
Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First (BLF NCC)
3 March 2018
Black First Land First Email:[email protected]
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(Deputy National Spokesperson)
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