Government Gazettes offer a really good window into what our political appointees, government officials and public bodies have focused on and achieved, and what red tape citizens have had to deal with. So, what do last week’s Gazettes contain?
The NATIONAL GAZETTES contain three notices of presidential assent to three new national amending Acts (Nos 12, 13 and 14 of 2011 which amend respectively refugee, immigration and state liability legislation). So, we know what the President has been doing. The week’s Gazettes also contain new CCMA guidelines for misconduct arbitrations, effective 2012/01/01. And regulations about the accreditation of the Second-hand Goods Dealers’ Association, and Microbial Standards in Foodstuffs (Note: the capitalisation is a thumb-suck on my part because all title are capitalised). And here’s an interesting notice: Declaration of traffic officers appointed in terms of s3A(1)(a) of the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 as peace officers under the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 – seemingly indefinitely so, and for no specific purpose. More of the inevitable weekly notices about alterations of surnames and forenames – some done under the wrong section of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 51 of 1992 again (an ever-recurring problem). Oh, and a notice of the change of name of “Caylon Corporate and Investment Bank” to the name “Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank” wef 2011/04/20 (who was to know that, for the last almost 5 months?). In addition, a couple of notices to do with the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and on levies on lucerne seed and lucerne hay. And (yes!) a notice introducing amendments to the National Building Regulations that introduce requirements for energy usage in buildings, effective 2 months from publication. Some further notices from ICASA on extensions to do with a seemingly endless list of acronyms. Also, new maximum national retail prices for illuminating paraffin, petroleum products and liquefied petroleum gas, which unusually just may not have been issued well after the date of commencement of those prices. And last (though only by way of press copy, not actually published Gazette) notice of a withdrawal of a notice about HIV & Aids Code of Good Practice and its replacement. And, yes, its all as vague as that.
What about all the government departments, institutions, and municipalities in our nine Provinces? What have they been up to?
Well, EASTERN CAPE missed publication of its Gazette containing liquor related notices – they only managed to publish a press copy of a liquor-related Gazette yet to be (not quite sure how that works in relation to deadlines set to comment, legally speaking). Oh, and another press copy of a Gazette to be was issued – stating that a supplementary valuation roll is ready for inspection, no municipality name provided in relation to the valuation roll, but I’d suggest assume its for Queenstown because it seems to have been issued by the Municipal Manager of Queenstown (although, given the number of officials acting outside their capacity, one can never be sure its not, say, a valuation roll for Timbuktu). There’s a deadline for comment on this notice, and whether you act on the press copy published of the Gazette to be, or wait for the official Gazette and maybe miss the deadline, is obviously your choice.
FREE STATE’s gazettes contain the usual gambling, transport and land related notices. And a notice on Nketoana Local Municipality’s tariffs on property rates (lets see, published 2011/09/09, but implemented when?), and draft road route regulations, 2010. Not sure whether to capitalise that as a title or not as,again, everything is always in capitals, so who’s to say?
GAUTENG has the usually land, land, land and more, land related notices. Usually there is some fun in finding and exclaiming on press copies of Gazettes still to be published that contain notices already over comment deadline, or on Gazettes published and distributed after comment period deadlines have expired. However, no time to chortle over these this week, so really boring achievement, Gauteng!
KWAZULU-NATAL reflects the ongoing obsession in municipalities around SA with juggling the number of full-time councillors or exco members (this time, for AbaQulusi and Umvoti Municipalities, and KwaDukuza). And hey there’s a notice with no title, apparently on Endumeni’s Council making By-laws related to offences, penalties and appeals effective from date of publication (which is vicariously interpreted not as the date on the cover of the Gazette, or the date the Gazette became available, or even the date the press copy of Gazette was issued, but as some wayback date of resolution by council or date starting the financial year).
LIMPOPO’s Polokwane seems to have done a very, very strange timing and amending thing with their tariffs for 2011/2012 which I’ll look at with interest if requested. Its only a press copy of a Gazette to be, so, murky waters all the way. Other than that? Only a notice (also in press copy form) of one road closure over a farm… Busy BUSY Limpopo this week.
Has MPUMALANGA done more than Limpopo? No, not really: It’s managed various land related notices in one Gazette, and various gambling related notices in a press copy of another (which are, believe it or not, haha, in terms of something called the Mpumalanga Gambling Board Act).
NORTHERN CAPE managed a press copy of a Gazette still to be published that will, it seems (when it is eventually published) contain already belated notices about a fait accompli merger between two schools, and tariffs for Thembelihle and Gamagara Municipalities which must have been in force for a while. Me thinks: Are those enforceable?
Lastly, NORTH WEST PROVINCE’s achievements for the week are summarised in two press copies of Gazettes yet to be published, containing land related notices, and draft regulations under their schools-related Act and the SA Schools Act 84 of 1996.
The week that was, as a local comedian puts it: Very little work done, and lots of loose ends.