5 New Laws Impacting SA Business

sacciDear SACCI Members

The President kicked off his second term by signing a number of business-related bills into law this week. Below is a summary of the new Acts, copies of which are attached.

  1. SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES ACT

Sectors concerned: Manufacturing / Import / Export

Overseeing Department: Trade and Industry

Key Provisions:

  • The Act seeks to boost industrialisation in SA through the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) that are envisioned as “one-stop shops” providing enhanced infrastructure, bureaucracy support, and incentives to attract domestic and foreign investment.
  • The Act allows private companies to operate and manage SEZs through public private partnerships.
  • During parliamentary hearings there was broad consensus that SEZ were a key reform measure for SA, and a necessity for SA to achieve its economic growth targets under the National Development Plan.
  1. NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: AIR QUALITY ACT AMENDMENT

Sector concerned: Industries whose operations result in atmospheric emissions

Overseeing Department: Water and Environment

Key Provisions:

  • Under the Air Quality Act of 2004 an atmospheric emission licensing system was set up to regulate emissions and protect the environment while allowing for socio-economic development. The Amendment Act of 2014 seeks to resolve problems within the licensing system that have been detected over the last decade.
  • The Amendment establishes an Air Quality Advisory Committee to advise the Minister on air quality issues.
  • A R5 million penalty is prescribed in the Amendment Act for unlawful activities resulting in atmospheric emissions.
  1. MARINE LIVING RESOURCES AMENDMENT ACT

Sector concerned: Small-scale fisheries

Overseeing Department: Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Key Provisions:

  • The Amendment allows the Minister to give official recognition to fishing communities, and to put in place measures to support their livelihoods.
  • Protection afforded to communities will include prohibiting non-community members from fishing on waters allocated to the community.
  1. LEGAL METROLOGY ACT

Sector concerned: Manufacturing / Retail

Overseeing Department: Trade and Industry

Key Provisions

  • The Act regulates the measurement of products and services, and the use of the instruments that measure them.
  • Historically, measurements were of concern in the sale of goods such as maize, milk and petrol. Today, with advancements in technology, accurate and standardized measurements are critical in new fields: e.g. energy (electricity meters), communication (data usage) safety (breathalyzers), transport (road overload), medicine (blood pressure analysis).
  • The Act allow for authorized market surveillance inspectors and verification officers to enter public and private premised to ensure that measurement instruments, goods and services comply with the Act.
  • Non-compliance may result in a fine (not prescribed) or imprisonment of up to10 years, or both.
  1. LANGUAGE PRACTITIONERS’ COUNCIL ACT

Sector concerned: Language practitioners (translators, interpreters, language planners, terminologists, lexicographers, text editors and related fields)

Overseeing Department: Arts and Culture

Key Provisions:

  • The Act establishes the South African Language Practitioners’ Council (SALPC) whose core functions will be to regulate the training of language practitioners and control their accreditation.
  • The SALPC will prescribe rules governing the conduct of language professionals and set procedures for compliance, monitoring and enforcement.

Please contact Lee Padayachee on Lee.Padayachee@busa.org.za should you require further info on any of these Acts.

Alternatively, tweet your questions and comments to Lee at @LeeAtBUSA.

Electronic Communications Amendment Act

Language Practitioners Act 8 of 2014

Legal Metrology Act 9 of 2014

Marine Living Resources Act 5 of 2014

NEM Air Quality Act 20 of 2014

Special Economic Zones Act 5 of 2014

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