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Amendment bills on disaster management, municipal property rates approved

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Amendment bills on disaster management, municipal property rates approved

by South African Govt News Agency
14 Jun 2013
South African Government News Agency
South African Government News Agency

Cabinet has this week approved that the Disaster Management Amendment Bill be published for public comment and the Local Government Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill be submitted to Parliament.

Briefing media in Cape Town on Thursday, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said the Disaster Management Amendment Bill aimed to address the challenges experienced across the spheres of government after commencement of the Disaster Management Act 2002.

"The amendment will re-affirm the function of district municipalities regarding the responsibility to establish capacity for the development and co-ordination of a disaster management plan. This includes the implementation of a disaster management function for the municipal area," explained Chabane.

He said the Disaster Management Act 2002 had four focus areas.

"It establishes an elaborate institutional framework for disaster management and it entrenches a detailed policy development and strategic planning framework for disaster management. The bill further provides for the classification and declaration of disaster; and it deals provisionally with the funding of post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation. It provides for disaster management volunteers and a few other ancillary matters."

The Local Government Municipal Property Rates Amendment Bill will now be submitted to Parliament. The Act became effective on 2 July 2005. It was amended twice in 2008 and 2009.

Chabane explained that the amendments sought to "remove ambiguity and provide greater legal certainty".

"The amendment will allow for transparency in the setting of rates for different property categories, thus enhancing property owners understanding of rating.

"The amendment will exclude certain public service infrastructure (PSI) such as roads, railways, airports aprons and runways, dams and breakwater from being rated.

"These are publicly controlled and will not disadvantage private sectors. This would enhance economic activity across municipal boundaries. It would also contribute to the developmental role of SOEs by reducing their fixed costs," he said.

Further to this, Cabinet members, at their ordinary fortnightly meeting, approved a number of merchant shipping legislations for tabling in Parliament.

These Bills form part of a package of measures designed to give effect to South Africa’s obligations under the International Maritime Organisation Protocol of 1992.

The Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability Convention) Bill and Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Bill also deal with questions of liability and compensation for loss or damage caused by contamination resulting from the escape or discharge of persistent oil from tankers.

The Merchant Shipping (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Administration Bill will, among other things, provide the necessary legislative authority to enable the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to administer the collection of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund Contributions levy.

The Contributions Bill is a money Bill that provides for the imposition and collection of the contributions that are due to be paid over to the fund. –

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