PARLIAMENT – Parliamentary legal advisers will review 1,850 laws that pre-date democracy to enable the legislature to repeal those that not in line with the Constitution, chief whip Jackson Mthembu’s office said on Thursday.
The laws were adopted between 1910, the year when the Union of South Africa was founded as a British dominion, and 1993. The decision to scrutinise these bills for constitutionality was taken in October last year.
A list released to party leaders at the National Assembly’s weekly programming committee meeting, includes the Rhodes’s Will (Groote Schuur Devolution) Act of 1910, the Income Tax Act of 1922 to the Union, Rhodesia Customs Act of 1925 and the Muizenberg Beach Improvement Act of the same year.
“The process of working through each piece of these 1,850 pieces of legislation is important because it will determine which legislation ought to be repealed or amended if found to be inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,” Mthembu’s spokesman Moloto Mothapo said.
Given the changes in government structures since the advent of democracy, some of the acts no longer had applicable ministries or the functions they legislated had shifted from one department to another, he added.
The government has already in the past two decades repealed more than 2,000 laws from the apartheid era that were found to be inconsistent with democratic values.
“We are confident that the outcome of the ongoing process by the Legal Services Department, including that of the High Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and Acceleration of Fundamental Change, will democratically transform South Africa’s legislative landscape and accelerate service delivery,” Mothapo said.
– African News Agency (ANA)
Photo: Hendrik Verwoerd