Competition Amendment Bill to be signed soon

Competition Amendment Bill to be signed soon
11 Feb 2019

The Competition Amendment Bill will soon be signed into law.

President Ramaphosa announced this during the 2019 State of the Nation Address in parliament.

He added that the signing of the bill will contribute towards boosting investment, fostering greater inclusion and creating more opportunities in the local economy.

The proposed law will “open up new opportunities for many South Africans to enter various sectors of the economy and compete on an equal footing”.

The president also announced that a team consisting of the presidency, Invest SA, national treasury and the planning, monitoring and evaluation department will strive to remove constraints to higher levels of investment.

The team’s work will include addressing the policy, legal, regulatory and administrative barriers that frustrate investors.

Progress will be reported to cabinet on a monthly basis.

According to the president, the Employment Tax Incentive will be extended for another ten years.

As regards land reform, the president declared that government will “support the work of the Constitutional Review Committee tasked with the review of Section 25 of the Constitution to unambiguously set out provisions for expropriation of land without compensation”.

The advisory panel of experts set up to advise government on its land reform programme is expected to table its report by the end of March 2019.

The president also indicated that parcels of land owned by the state have been identified for redistribution.

“Strategically located land will be released to address human settlements needs in urban and peri-urban areas.”

In the realm of telecommunications, the president indicated that the communications minister will soon be issuing policy direction to the Independent Communications Authority for the licensing of the high demand radio frequency spectrum.

As regards electricity generation, the president announced that government will support Eskom’s balance sheet and the finance minister will shortly provide further detail on this in Budget 2019.

He added that Eskom will need to develop a new business model.

“This business model needs to take into account the root causes of its current crisis and the profound international and local changes in the relative costs, and market penetration of energy resources, especially clean technologies.”

Three separate entities – generation, transmission and distribution – are to be established under Eskom Holdings so as to facilitate easier fund raising for each entity.

“Of particular and immediate importance is the entity to manage an independent state-owned transmission grid combined with the systems operator and power planning, procurement and buying functions.”

In terms of the proposed universal access to quality health care for all South Africans, the president announced that the Draft National Health Insurance Bill will soon be ready for tabling in parliament.

“The NHI will enable South Africans to receive free services at the point of care in public and private quality-accredited health facilities.”

Other initiatives in the pipeline include the operationalisation of section 8 of the Public Administration and Management Act strengthening the outlawing of public servants doing business with the state and enabling government to deal more effectively with corrupt activities, the setting up of the Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit to strengthen management of ethics and anti-corruption, the setting up of an investigating directorate within the Office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions to focus on serious corruption and associated offences and the reconstitution of a professional national intelligence capability for South Africa.

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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