President Jacob Zuma signed the Criminal Matters Amendment Act 2015 into law on Monday, the presidency said, a move that spells bad news for cable and scrap metal thieves.
The act amends the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 and introduces harsher sentences for the destruction of essential infrastructure and more stringent bail conditions and applications for perpetrators.
“The amendments provide for changes to the law pertaining to infrastructure-related offences by making stricter provisions for the granting of bail, the sentencing of offenders and creating a new offence to criminalise damage to, tampering with or destruction of essential infrastructure which may interfere with the provision of basic services to the public,” presidency spokesman Bongani Majola said in a statement.
The act also created a new offence relating to essential infrastructure as well as amending the Prevention of Organised Crime Act of 1998.
The bill was debated in the national assembly in October where it was supported by a majority of parties, with the exception of the Economic Freedom Fighters.
Zuma also signed the Defence Laws Repeal and Amendment Act 2015 and the Disaster Management Amendment Act 2015 into law on Monday.
The Defence Laws Repeal and Amendment Act sought to repeal certain obsolete or redundant laws administered by the minister of defence & military veterans, Majola said.
The acts to be repealed were the Defence Endowment Property and Account Amendment Act 1929, the Defence Amendment Act 1954, the Defence Special Account Amendment Act 1981 and the Civil Defence Amendment Act 1969.
The Disaster Management Amendment Act sought to clarify the policy focus on rehabilitation and functioning of disaster management centres.
It would also align the functions of the National Disaster Management Advisory Forum to accommodate the South African National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and provide for the South African National Defense Force, South African Police Service and any other organ of state to assist the disaster management structures, and strengthen the disaster risk reporting system in order to improve the country’s ability to manage potential disasters. — News24