Parliament, Tuesday, 19 March 2024 – The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) passed three bills during its plenary today. They are the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill, the National Youth Development Agency Amendment Bill and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Amendment Bill. The National Assembly (NA) passed all three Bills last year and sent them to the NCOP for concurrence.

The National Council of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill
The National Council on Gender-based Violence Bill seeks to, among others, establish the National Council on Gender-based Violence and Femicide. The aim is to set up a multi-sectoral, independent, and non–partisan statutory body, which acts through its Board and is responsible for providing strategic leadership on addressing gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa. It further provides for the objects and functions of the council, the appointment of the board of the council and its members, and it determines the board’s term.

The National Council must manage the country’s approach to eliminating GBV and femicide in collaboration with relevant stakeholders and its priorities must be aligned with various national frameworks. This follows the Presidential Summit Declaration against GBV and Femicide of 2018 to prevent and eliminate the endemic abuse and murder of South African women.

The National Youth Development Agency Amendment Bill 
The Bill seeks to amend the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Act of 2008 to address various issues related to the functions and governance of the NYDA. The Bill provides for additional NYDA board members and sets term limits for their tenure. It also requires that board members submit financial disclosures and seeks to amend matters about board meetings and the funding of the Agency. The passing of this Bill by the NCOP plenary today is an important step towards strengthening the NYDA and ensuring its effectiveness in addressing the needs of the country’s youth.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate Amendment Bill
This Bill was introduced in Parliament by the Minister of Police in July last year and proposes amendments to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Act.

The Bill emanates from the 2016 Constitutional Court ruling involving the suspension of then-IPID executive director, Mr Robert McBride. The Constitutional Court found that the IPID Act contained provisions that gave the Minister of Police excessive political powers, allowing undue influence over the executive director of IPID.

The court found that the existing IPID Act contravened South Africa’s constitutional principles, which call for the establishment of an independent police complaints body to investigate alleged misconduct or offences committed by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS). The Act essentially allowed the minister to suspend, discipline, or remove the executive director without parliamentary oversight, eroding the desired independence of IPID.

IPID investigates specified categories of crime committed by members of the SAPS and Municipal Police. The directorate plays a critical role in criminal justice proceedings by ensuring that investigations against the police are done effectively.

These three Bills passed by the NCOP will now be sent to the President for assent as required by the Constitution.
At the same NCOP virtual plenary sitting, delegates to the Council also considered the Expropriation Bill and resolved to send it back to NA with proposed amendments. The Expropriation Bill seeks to repeal the existing Expropriation Act of 1975 to provide a common framework in line with the Constitution to guide the processes and procedures for the expropriation of property by organs of state. It further seeks to provide for certain instances where expropriation with no compensation may be appropriate in the public interest.

After some deliberations, the House resolved to send the Bill back to the NA with proposed amendments for reconsideration.

Enquiries: Moloto Mothapo