Disaster Management Amendment Bill drawn up

Disaster Management Amendment Bill drawn up
29 Oct 2020

A draft bill that seeks to amend the Disaster Management Act is in the pipeline.

The Draft Disaster Management Amendment Bill was published for comment in Government Gazette 43834.

The proposed legislation, a private member’s bill, was drawn up by Dr Pieter Groenewald, a Freedom Front Plus member of parliament.

The draft bill aims to amend the Disaster Management Act, 2002, so as to:

  • amend the duration of a state of disaster;
  • provide that any action taken as a result of a declaration of a state of disaster is only effective prospectively;
  • further provide that only the National Assembly, provincial legislature or council of a municipality may resolve to extend a national, provincial or local state of disaster respectively, and to provide for the duration of the extension;
  • further provide for the requisite majorities required in the National Assembly, provincial legislature and council of a municipality in order to extend a national, provincial or local state of disaster respectively;
  • provide that a resolution to extend a national, provincial or local state of disaster as the case may be, may only be adopted after a public debate in the respective legislatures;
  • provide for oversight by the National Assembly and provincial legislature over a national or provincial state of disaster respectively;
  • amend the provisions dealing with the lapsing of a national, provincial or local state of disaster and the termination of the regulations and by-laws made in terms of it as the case may be; and
  • provide for matters connected therewith.

According to the draft bill’s memorandum, the “Disaster Management Act does not currently provide adequate legislative accountability and oversight over the regulations published in terms of it, the duration of a state of disaster, nor in respect of the extension of a state of disaster”.

“In a constitutional democracy, any legislation, which has such severe consequences and which impacts all the citizens and their human rights should be subject to more legislative accountability and oversight”.

Comment is invited within 30 days of the date of publication.

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(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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