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Call for Submissions by High Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

HIGH LEVEL PANEL ON THE ASSESSMENT OF KEY LEGISLATION

Parliament has appointed a High Level Panel whose mandate it is to investigate the impact of legislation in respect of the following areas:

a. The Triple Challenges of Poverty, Unemployment and Inequality;

b. The creation of, and equitable distribution of wealth;

c. Land reform, restitution, redistribution and security of tenure;

d. Nation building and social cohesion.

The legislation in question would include that which has the greatest direct impact on the citizens of South Africa, such as combating poverty, services and the delivery thereof, education, health, employment, housing, combating crime, social development and the legislation that seeks to protect and improve the lives of women and children.

The High Level Panel aims to review legislation, assess implementation, identify gaps and propose action steps that impact on specific areas. This will be done with a view to identifying laws that require strengthening, review and/or amending.  In other words, this intervention will entail the identification of existing legislation that enables the transformational goals of the developmental state, as well as laws that impede this goal.

The outcome of the work of the High Level Panel will be a package of recommendations that will be considered by the South African Legislative Sector.  A period of 18 months, starting in January 2016, has been allocated for the completion of the High Level Panel’s work and the Panel will conduct its work through the following three Working Groups.  


WORKING GROUP 1


A call for submission in this area refers to the commissioned research required by the Working Group on the triple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment – including the creation and equitable distribution of wealth. The five key areas of focus for Working Group 1 are:


  1. Growth, poverty and inequality (encompassing (a) wage inequality, (b) wealth distribution and inequality, (c) labour regulatory environment, (d) unemployment and   (e ) poverty and access to basic services)
  2. Unequal access to quality health care
  3. Quality education
  4. Spatial inequality
  5. Skills development

WORKING GROUP 2 

The Working Group on Land Reform will examine the extent to which land reform policies and legislation give effect to Section 25 of the Constitution and the extent to which they are adequately enforced. Its focus will be on the following:  

Land redistribution and restitution in the context of redressing skewed patterns of land ownership based on past racially discriminative laws and practices 

Submissions concerning the legacy of past racial discrimination may focus on the impact of the redistribution programme, the restitution programme or both. All submissions should contain factual information and/or examples. Submissions should refer to provisions of relevant laws that are not being effectively implemented or are problematic and require review. Submissions may also propose alternatives to current laws.

Land reform in the context of the alleviation of poverty and inequality   

The Land Sub-Working Group’s mandate is framed by the Panel’s overarching focus on issues of poverty, inequality, unemployment and social exclusion. Budgetary allocations and spending in respect of the different components of land reform and rural development provide an important way to measure the extent to which current policies and programmes target poverty and inequality, or potentially divert the land reform budget away from the poor in favour of other interests. Submissions on the interface between land reform, poverty and inequality are invited.


Tenure security and rural people’s capacity to protect and enforce their land rights in the face of countervailing interests 

A direct consequence of past racially discriminatory laws and practices is that the majority of black South Africans were denied legally enforceable rights to the land they occupied during apartheid. Section 25 (6) of the Constitution seeks to address this. The panel will investigate the extent to which existing laws give effect to Section 25(6), the extent to which they are adequately enforced, and the extent to which they require amendment. Submissions are not limited to land reform laws and are invited to address other laws that potentially or actually undermine the right to tenure security.


Land reform, sustainable livelihoods and rural development 

It is important to assess the progress of land reform in the wider context of sustainable livelihoods, agricultural production, rural development and agrarian reform.  Submissions are invited on the interface between land reform and these issues.


WORKING GROUP 3

This call for submission refers to the commissioned research required by the Working Group on Social Cohesion and Nation Building in South Africa. The  key areas of focus for Working Group 3 is on what divides South Africans and what binds South Africans and includes, among other, the following:

  1. Discrimination (racism, tribalism, xenophobia and sexism)
  2. Social and economic exclusion
  3. Redress and transformation
  4. Levels of trust among and between citizens and institutions
  5. Social solidarity and active participatory citizenship


The High Level Panel seeks your participation in undertaking its mandate, which includes written and oral submissions and therefore calls on all interested individuals and groups wishing to comment on these issues to make written submissions by no later than 31 March 2017.

Submissions may be sent via e-mail to Highlevelpanel@parliament.gov.za, via post to Parliament of the RSA, P O Box 2164, Cape Town, 8000, For attention – Leanne Morrison (EPMO - Assessing the impact of Legislation Project). You are requested to mark submissions for the attention of the relevant Working Group.

DEFINITION OF SUBMISSION

A submission, in this context, is the presentation of views or opinions with a view to attest to the impact legislation has had in the identified four areas and also to suggest possible actions that will address these disparities.  


FORMAT OF SUBMISSION

Kindly take note that only written submissions will be accepted. Should members of the public wish to make an oral submission, this will be accommodated by means of the planned radio debates and public hearings. Please look out in your local press for the planned dates for these events. Submissions may be presented in your language of choice in written form.  You or your organization may be invited to make an oral presentation to the High Level Panel. The submission should include the following information:

  1. Name of the Working Group to which the input is made.
  2. Title of submission.
  3. Source of submission (i.e. name or the organization represented).
  4. Contact Details – Please include a contact address and daytime telephone number. If for private reasons you do not wish those details to be publicly released with your submission, state this in a covering letter and exclude these details from the submission itself.
  5. Details of Organization (if relevant) i.e. organisation’s aims, membership and structure and your position in the organization. Please indicate if you are authorised to speak on behalf of the organization or are doing so as an individual.
  6. If you wish to be called for oral presentation, please indicate so and list the persons and their roles in your organization who will accompany you (if relevant).


GUIDELINES FOR WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS

  1. Use clear, logical and concise language, focusing on the areas of legislation identified.
  2. Be accurate and complete by thoroughly gathering and researching all relevant information.
  3. Be persuasive in your arguments.
  4. Use respectful language.
  5. Conclude by listing your main points.


The submission should not be more than 2 pages in length and any additional information may be submitted as an annexure.


GUIDELINES FOR MAKING ORAL SUBMISSIONS

  1. Preparing for your oral submission:
    a.    As Working Group meetings are generally open to the public and the media, you may wish to attend one of these meetings before you present your oral submission.
    b.    On the day of your oral submission, presenters are requested to arrive early.
  2. To allow the High Level Panel to hear as many voices as possible given the limited time and resources, presentations should not be exceed 20 minutes (including the presentation and possible questions and answers pertaining to the presentation).
  3. Audio-visual equipment will be made available for presenter to utilise on the day of oral submission, should this be required.  
  4. You may present your oral submission in any of the official languages of South Africa. Kindly inform the Secretariat of the High Level Panel of your language choice prior, so that the Secretariat may make the necessary arrangements for interpretation.  
  5. Presenters are requested to prepare for possible questions from Members of the High Level Panel.

WE INVITE YOU TO BE AN ACTIVE CITIZEN TO PROMOTE DEMOCRACY!