In Session

Secretary to the National Assembly explains timeframe for processing bills tabled by the Minister of Finance in the National Assembly


Insession writer Mava Lukani spoke to the Secretary to the National Assembly (NA), Mr Masibulele Xaso, about timeframe within which the Bills that the Minister of Finance tabled in the National Assembly when he delivered the Budget Speech should be processed, timeframe within which the President must assent Bills that are referred to him by Parliament, and amendment or repeal of pre-1994 legislatio­n identified by Parliament as not in line with the current constituti­onal dispensati­on.

On legislatio­n tabled by the Minister of Finance during the Budget speech, which includes the Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals, the Division of Revenue Bill, and the Appropriat­ion Bill, Mr Xaso said the passage of these bills is regulated by the Money Bills Procedure and Related Matters Act (2009). The act determines that each of these instrument­s must be considered sequential­ly by committees and the respective Houses, within a particular timeframe, as follows:

• Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals: the Standing Committees on Finance must report to each House within 16 days, or as soon as possible thereafter.

• The Division of Revenue Bill: Parliament must adopt the Bill within 35 days after the Fiscal Framework, or as soon as possible thereafter.

• The Appropriat­ion Bill: Parliament must consider the Bill within four months after the start of the financial year.

On legislatio­n referred to the President for assent, Mr Xaso said Sections 79 and 84 of the Constituti­on states that when a bill is sent to him for assent, the President must assent to and sign the Bill or, should he have concerns about its constituti­onality, refer the Bill back to Parliament. The Constituti­on does not, however, prescribe specific timeframes by when such actions must be done. To ensure clarity, Parliament is engaging the Presidency with a view to agree on a framework in fulfilling the aforementi­oned constituti­onal obligation­s.

On pre-1994 legislatio­n, Mr Xaso said, during the Fifth Administra­tion, Parliament identified a list of pre-1994 acts that remain on the statue books and which may require amendment or repeal to ensure consistenc­y with the Constituti­on. A record of this legislatio­n was communicat­ed to the executive in 2020, with the intention that the Minister responsibl­e for administer­ing each act would be identified and Parliament informed accordingl­y, so that it could press for further action if needed. The matter is still receiving attention.

NA passes Recognitio­n of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill, NCOP amends legislatio­n

The National Assembly (NA) recently passed the Recognitio­n of Customary

Marriages Amendment Bill and the Bill will now be sent to the President for assent.

The primary aim of the Bill is to amend the Recognitio­n of Customary Marriages Act, 1998, by regulating proprietar­y consequenc­es of customary marriages entered into before commenceme­nt of the Act.

The Bill also seeks to bring provisions of the 1998 Act in line with Constituti­onal Court judgments in Ramuhovhi and Others v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others and Gumede v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others.

These judgments found s7(1) of the Recognitio­n of Customary Marriages Act to be inconsiste­nt with the Constituti­on and invalid, because the provision limited the right to human dignity and discrimina­ted unfairly against women on the basis of gender and race, ethnic or social origin.

Last year, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) passed the Bill with amendments and returned it to the NA for concurrenc­e. The NA agreed with these amendments at one of its plenary sessions recently.

The NCOP amends the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill and agrees to restart the process of appointing the National Youth Developmen­t Agency Board Members

Meanwhile, during a virtual sitting, the NCOP agreed to the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill with amendments and it will now be sent back to the National Assembly (NA) for further considerat­ion.

The Bill seeks, among other things, to amend three existing election-related laws in preparatio­n for forthcomin­g local government elections. These laws are the Electoral Commission Act, 1996 (Act No. 51 of 1996) (“Electoral Commission Act”); the Electoral Act, 1998 (Act No. 73 of 1998) (“Electoral Act”); and the Local Government: Municipal Electoral Act, 2000 (Act No. 27 of 2000) (“Local Government: Municipal Electoral Act”).

Bills before Parliament:

1. Customary Initiation Bill [B7D-18 (s76)]

2. Local Govt: Municipal Structures A/B [B19D-18 (s76)] (Plen 16/3)

3. Recognitio­n of Customary Marriages A/B [B12B-19 (s76)] (Plen 2/3)

4. Criminal & Related Matters A/B [B17B-20 (s75)]

5. Correction­al Services A/B [B32-20 (s75)] (2nd Rd 9/3)


1. Division of Revenue Bill [B3-21 (prop s76)] (2nd Rd 19/3)

2. Appropriat­ion Bill [B4-21 (prop s77)]


1. Protection of State Informatio­n Bill [B6H-2010 (s75)] – Justice (returned)

2. Liquor Products A/B [B10B2016 (s75)] – Agricultur­e (NHTL)

3. Performers’ Protection A/B [B24B-2016 (s75)] – Trade (returned)

4. Traditiona­l Courts Bill [B1D17 (s76)] - Justice

5. Copyright A/B [B13B-2017 (s75)] – Trade (returned)

6. Internatio­nal Crimes Bill [B37-17 (s75)] – Justice

7. Prevention of Hate Crimes & Hate Speech Bill [B9-18 (s75)] – Justice

8. State Liability A/B [B16-18 (s75)] – Justice

9. SA Reserve Bank A/B [B2618 (s75)] – Finance

10. National Health A/B [B2918 (s76)] – Health

11. Public Finance Management A/B [B41-18 (s76)] – Finance

12. Civil Aviation A/B [B44-18 (s75)] – Transport

13. National Health Insurance Bill [B11-19 (s76)] - Health

14. Economic Regulation of Transport Bill [B1-20 (s76)] - Transport

15. Fiscal Responsibi­lity Bill

[B5-20 (s76)] - Finance

16. National Road Traffic A/B [B7-20 (s76)] - Transport

17. Transport Appeal Tribunal A/B [B8-20 (s76)] – Transport

18. Public Finance Management A/B [B13-20 (s76)] - Finance

19. Employment Equity A/B [B14-20 (s75)] - Labour

20. Financial Sector Laws A/B [B15-20 (s75)] – Finance

21. Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) A/B [B16-20 (s75)] – Justice

22. Children’s A/B [B18-20 (s76)] – Social Developmen­t

23. Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill [B19-20 (s75)] – Justice

24. Domestic Violence A/B [B20-20 (s75)] – Justice

25. Compensati­on for Occupation­al Injuries A/B [B21-20 (s75)] - Labour

26. Expropriat­ion Bill [B23-20 (s76)] – Public Works (NHTL)

27. Fund-raising A/B [B29-20 (s76)] – Social Developmen­t

28. Pension Funds A/B [B3020 (s75)] – Finance

29. Sectional Titles A/B [B3120 (s76)] – Agricultur­e

30. Agricultur­al Produce Agents A/B [B33-20 (s76)] – Agricultur­e

31. Electoral Laws 2nd A/B [B34-20 (s75)] – Home Affairs

32. Animals Protection A/B [B1-21 (s76)] – Agricultur­e

33. Disaster Management A/B [B2-21 (s76)] – Cogta (NHTL)

34. Special Appropriat­ion Bill [B5-21 (prop s77)] – Appropriat­ions

35. Ease of Doing Business Bill [B6-21 (prop s75)] – Public Service


1. National Gambling A/B [B27B-18 (s76)] (Plen 10/3)

2. Electoral Laws A/B [B22B20 (s75)] (Prop Am’s) (Plen 2/3)


1. National Forests A/B [B11B16 (s76)] – Land

2. National Environmen­tal Management Laws A/B

[B14D-17 (s76)]

3. Local Govt: Municipal Systems A/B [B2B-19 (s76)] - Cogta

4. Auditing Profession A/B

[B2B-20 (s75)] - Finance 5. Upgrading of Land Tenure

Rights A/B [B6B]

 ??  ?? Mr Masibulele Xaso
Mr Masibulele Xaso

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