Defence Amendment Bill on its way to Parliament

Pretoria � Cabinet has approved the introduction of the Defence Amendment Bill 2017, into Parliament.

The Bill aligns the Defence Act, 2002 (Act No 42 of 2002) with current departmental organisational requirements that will enhance the efficiency of the Department of Defence. The amendments are organisational in nature and apply internally to the Department of Defence, said a statement released on Thursday after Cabinet's regular fortnightly meeting.

Cabinet has also approved the introduction of the Legal Practice Amendment Bill 2017, into Parliament. The Bill amends the Legal Practice Act, 2014 (Act 28 of 2014) to address practical and technical issues of a non-contentious nature.

The Bill seeks to regulate the prescription of the areas of jurisdiction of the Provincial Councils to provide that only practicing legal practitioners may perform certain acts or render certain services. It further seeks to regulate the duties of banks in respect of trust accounts, regulate the duration of the National Forum on the Legal Profession and to provide for the dissolution date of the law societies.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has also approved the publication of the National e-Government Strategy and Roadmap for public comment.

This strategy guides the digital transformation of the public service into an inclusive digital society, so as to better enable citizens to benefit from the opportunities offered by digital technologies to improve their quality of life.

This will contribute towards the realisation of the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP), as well as leverage government plans and programmes to provide government services in an effective manner, said the statement.

Cabinet has also approved the submission of the Initial Country Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

It said the attainment of socio-economic rights forms a vital part of the Constitution and the NDP.

Since the advent of democracy, South Africa has made important strides in progressively realising the socio-economic rights of her people. In the past 18 years, we have built democratic institutions, transformed the public service, extended basic service, stabilised the economy and taken our rightful place in the family of nations. Despite these successes poverty, inequality and unemployment remain our key challenges, Cabinet said.

Golden economy

Cabinet was also briefed on the work done by the Presidential Creative Industries Task Team of Deputy Ministers. The task team, chaired by the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, is a strategic platform for decision makers in government, civil society and the private sector to discuss collective action that will accelerate transformation in the creative industry.

Issues that are dealt with include piracy, copyright protection and infringement, local content and airplay, social security, including income smoothing, organisation of the industry, particular performers, transformation of the sector and skills development.

The work of the task team supports government's Mzansi Golden Economy, which facilities employment creation, enhances both social equity and competitiveness and mobilises domestic investment around activities that could create sustainable employment.

Working with many industry players and across government departments, the task team has initiated a number of interventions to unlock and optimise the performance industry throughout the value chain. Some of these interventions include the introduction of the Copyright Amendment Bill and the Performers Protection Bill to Parliament.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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