President Cyril Ramaphosa Signs Three Key Bills into Law

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President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially signed into law three critical bills aimed at enhancing South Africa’s transport regulations and municipal fiscal frameworks. The signing, conducted under the authority of Section 79(1) of the Constitution, marks a progressive step for legislative reforms in the country.

The National Land Transport Amendment Bill

Initially introduced to the President in 2020, the National Land Transport Amendment Bill has undergone rigorous scrutiny and amendments, ultimately being returned to the National Assembly for reconsideration before receiving assent.

According to the Presidency, the revised bill aims to modernise the National Land Transport Act of 2009. Among its key amendments are the introduction of definitions pertinent to non-motorised and accessible transport, thereby ensuring the Act reflects current developments and trends.

“The amendments bring the Principal Act up to date with new developments and provide for certain powers of provinces and municipalities to conclude contracts for public transport services. It further expands the powers of the Minister to make regulations and introduce safety measures,” the Presidency announced.

The Economic Regulation of Transport Bill

The Economic Regulation of Transport Bill is poised to foster economic growth and welfare by enhancing the productivity of South Africa’s transport sector. Central to this bill is the establishment of a Transport Economic Regulator tasked with regulating prices, investigating complaints, and ensuring compliance within the transport industry.

According to the Presidency, “this entails setting up a single regulatory body focused on the economic regulation of the transport industry.”

The Municipal Fiscal Powers and Functions Amendment Bill

The Municipal Fiscal Powers and Functions Amendment Bill aims to streamline the financial frameworks governing local municipalities. Primarily, it seeks to regulate the ability of municipalities to impose development charges.

“It also establishes a system for the municipalities to impose levies for land development applications as a condition for granting or approval of such an application for persons to use or develop land in a municipality,” the Presidency elaborated.

Furthermore, the bill empowers municipalities, when authorised by national legislation, to levy taxes, duties, and appropriate charges exclusively within the local government domain.

The Presidency concluded that these legislative developments are poised to regulate municipal financial administration more effectively while fostering transparency and accountability.

Implications and Future Prospects

The signing of these bills represents a significant stride towards more streamlined and effective governance. For the transport industry, the amended regulations signal an era of improved public transport services, enhanced safety measures, and more robust economic oversight.

Municipalities, on the other hand, find themselves with clearer mandates and the financial tools necessary to better serve their constituents through well-managed development projects.

As South Africa continues to navigate its socio-economic challenges, these legislative amendments form a cornerstone of systemic improvement aimed at fostering a more organised, equitable, and progressive nation.

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