Parliament, Saturday, 2 December 2023 – The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has considered and unanimously adopted the motion of desirability for Deeds Registries Amendment Bill and the Plant Health (Phytosanitary) Bill yesterday.

The Bills were referred to the committee for consideration and reporting in compliance with the National Assembly (NA) Rules, 9th Edition, Rule 286. The NA Rule states, among other things, that “If a Bill has been published for public comment in terms of Rule 276 or 295, the Assembly committee to which the Bill is referred must give interested persons and institutions an opportunity to comment on the Bill”.

The Bills were advertised for public comments where the public and relevant stakeholders were given a period of 30 days to submit inputs. The Plant (Phytosanitary) Health Bill was advertised during the month of July 2023, but no submissions were received during and after the period of advertisement and no substantial written submissions were received on the Deeds Registries Amendment Bill as well.

Presenting the motion of desirability for the Plant (Phytosanitary) Health Bill, the Chairperson of the committee, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela said, considering inputs from Legal Services on the constitutionality of the Bill, the Content Advisor on policy matters and the assurance that there are no contentious issues regarding the Bill, and having noted that the relevant stakeholders have already been consulted by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the committee did not find any reason not to process the Bill.

The Plant Health (Phytosanitary) Bill seeks to, among other things, provide for phytosanitary measures to prevent the introduction, establishment and spread of regulated pests in the Republic; provide for the control of regulated pests and to provide for regulation of the movement of plants, plant products and other regulated articles into, within and out of the Republic.

The committee, after not receiving substantial written submissions on the Deeds Registries Amendment Bill, also sought inputs from Parliamentary Legal Advisers and
Content Adviser on legal/constitutional questions and policy questions respectively. Nkosi Mandela said: “The committee deliberated on the inputs, especially the introduction of the recordal of off-register land rights in the Deeds Office and did not find any reason not to process the Bill,”

Deeds Registries Amendment Bill seeks to, among other things, amend the Deeds Registries Act, 1937, so as to provide for the appointment of a registrar of deeds, deputy registrar of deeds and assistant registrar of deeds in terms of the provisions of the Public Service Act, 1994 and to further regulate their qualification requirements.

The committee proceeded to process the two Bills, guided by Rule 286 (4) which further states that, the committee (“i) After due deliberation, must consider a motion of desirability on the subject matter of the Bill and, if rejected, must immediately table the Bill and its report on the Bill; and (ii) If the motion of desirability is adopted, must proceed to deliberate on the details of the legislation.”

The committee adopted the two Bills yesterday with no amendments and referred them to the Parliamentary Legal Services for further processing and the A list and the drafting of the B Bills will then be brought before the committee for adoption.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, LAND REFORM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT, NKOSI ZWELIVELILE MANDELA.

For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact:

Name: Malentsoe Magwagwa (Ms)
Tel: 021 403 2465
Cell: 081 716 5824 
E-mail: mmagwagwa@parliament.gov.za