Concerns raised over late tabling of Bills as election year looms

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The National Assembly Programming Committee (NAPC) has once again expressed concerns over the tardy submission of Bills, with some pieces of legislation facing a Constitutional Court deadline of June 2024.

Compounding the issue is the fact that 2024 is also an election year, which could further complicate the already tight timeline.

According to Parliament, the Department of Home Affairs has announced its intention to introduce amendments to the Marriage Act in April 2024.

However, NAPC chairperson Cedric Frolick argues that even if next year was not an election year, two months would still be an insufficient amount of time to properly process such legislation.

Frolick pointed out that this is not an isolated incident, stating that it has become a recurring pattern for the government to drop legislation onto Parliament’s plate at the last minute, often just before elections or constitutional deadlines.

“We find there are numerous examples. Just on the eve of an election or on the eve of the Constitutional Court deadline expiry, you find the department dumping literally the legislation into Parliament and then claiming that they have done what they were supposed to do and now it’s in the hands of Parliament,” says Frolick.