The National Assembly adopts three pieces of Legislation
26 February 2019
Today, the National Assembly (NA) considered and adopted the Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill [Committee Bill]; the Customs and Excise Bill [B3 - 2019] and the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill [B 23D - 2015].
1. Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill [Committee Bill]
Following various allegations in the public domain, and concerns from trade unions and pensioners that the PIC was making questionable investments, the Standing Committee on Finance initiated a process of amending the PIC Act (2004) so as to address these issues.
The Committee passed a resolution on 18 October 2017 to introduce a Bill that would address challenges faced by the PIC through adding amendments to the law that will mitigate infighting at the State-Owned Investment Corporation.
Amendments made to the Bill provide that the Minister of Finance appoint 10 non-executive board members, including a representative from National Treasury; two representatives from the largest depositor to the PIC; one representative of any depositor whose assets are under management of the PIC and are at least 10% of all total deposits made to the entity.
In the name transparency, this amendment also provides for union representation on the PIC board. The trade union with the most membership in pension funds at the PIC, will have two representatives in the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF); whilst one union representative will represent another trade union, as decided by the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC), based upon proportional representation.
Furthermore, the Minister of Finance must designate the Deputy Minister of Finance or, in consultation with Cabinet, any other Deputy Minister within the economic cluster to chair the board of the PIC. Other amendments to the Bill state that the PIC board must include two executive members and that those serving as board members should have the requisite skills.
The passing of this Bill will result in the PIC investing in projects that benefit the depositors ensuring that depositors dictate the trajectory of the corporation in accordance to set guidelines.
In efforts to strengthen Parliamentary oversight, the Minister of Finance must table a report to Parliament annually, on all investments, deposits and requests for approval in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.
The Bill is sent to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for concurrence.
2. Customs and Excise Bill [B3 - 2019]
The Bill provides for the amendment of the Customs and Excise Act (1964) so as to insert a new provision for the purpose of the administration and collection of carbon tax revenues in relation to the Carbon Tax Bill as adopted by the National Assembly last week.
3. Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill [B 23D - 2015]
The Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, passed with amendments proposed by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), seeks to, among other, provide for the recognition of traditional and Khoi-San communities, leadership positions and for the withdrawal of such recognition. It further clarifies the functions and roles of traditional and Khoi-San leaders and provides for the recognition, establishment, functions, roles and administration of kingship or queenship councils, principal traditional councils, traditional councils, Khoi-San councils and traditional sub-councils, as well as the support to such councils.
Issued by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip, comrade Jackson Mthembu.
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