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Parliament, Tuesday 14 November 2017 – The National Assembly at its plenary sitting today passed the Division of Revenue Amendment Bill, the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Bill, the Public Service Commission Amendment Bill and the Legal Practice Amendment Bill.

The Division of Revenue Amendment Bill is one of several bills which the Minister of Finance tabled in Parliament in October, together with the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement. Among others, the Bill adjusts the equitable share among the three spheres of government, changes the specific purpose allocations to provinces and changes allocations-in-kind to provinces and municipalities for designated special programmes. The Bill is required because of the proposed national adjustment budget for the 2017/18 financial year which affects the division of revenue between the three spheres of government. The Division of Revenue Amendment Bill will now be sent for consideration to the National Council of Provinces.

Also to be forwarded to the National Council of Provinces for consideration are the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Bill, the Public Service Commission Amendment Bill and the Legal Practice Amendment Bill. The Assembly also passed these Bills at its plenary sitting today.

Passing of the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Bill followed consideration of the report on the Bill from the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology, published in the Announcement, Tablings and Committee Meetings parliamentary paper of 10 October. To read the report, please click: https://www.parliament.gov.za/storage/app/media/Docs/bill/97bb18f4-66c2-4c4a-9908-fb4a88f9d8cb.pdf and go to page 12. The aims of the Bill are, among others, to protect the indigenous knowledge of indigenous communities from unauthorised use and misappropriation, while also promoting public awareness and understanding of indigenous knowledge for its wider application and development.

The Public Service Commission Amendment Bill aims to ensure efficiency and certainty regarding the renewal of the term of a Commissioner and continuity in the Public Service Commission with respect to retention of Commissioners with experience of the mandate of the Commission.

The Legal Practice Amendment Bill regulates, among others, the prescription of areas of jurisdiction of Provincial Councils, provides that only practicing legal practitioners may perform certain acts or provide certain services and further regulates the duties of banks concerning trust accounts.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

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