Rush to pass bills before electionsComment on this story
Cape Town - The ANC in Parliament is in a rush against time and has singled out eight pieces of legislation that have to be processed before the elections.
This was after it noted the “huge” parliamentary workload on Wednesday.
ANC chief whip Stone Sizani said that under the constitution, Parliament’s term was to end before the general elections, expected in April.
He said there were 24 bills before the National Assembly and 18 before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) – which meant there were 42 bills the institution had to pass before the elections.
The bills prioritised by the ANC do not include the controversial Traditional Courts Bill, which has met a lot of resistance from organisations and traditional leaders.
The DA in the National Council of Provinces accused the ANC earlier this week of “bulldozing” the “unconstitutional” bill through Parliament without undertaking thorough public consultations.
“The workload confronting the institution includes committee oversights, constituency programmes, adoption of committee reports, debates on the State of the Nation address and the Budget, and finalisation and adoption of bills,” said Sizani.
The priority bills include:
* The Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill of 2014.
* The Rental Housing Amendment Bill of 2013.
* The Labour Relations Amendment Bill of 2012.
* The Customs Control Bill of 2013.
* The Customs Duty Bill of 2013.
* The Customs and Excise Amendment Bill of 2013.
* The Science and Technology Laws Amendment Bill of 2013.
Sizani said the ANC was of the view that it should spare no effort in making sure these bills were processed qualitatively and thoroughly.
According to the rules of Parliament, bills not passed during this term may be “resuscitated” in the next.
Elza van Lingen, DA leader in the NCOP, said that given the controversial nature of the Traditional Courts Bill, “it is imperative that a thorough consultation process is conducted”.