Please note: Parliamentary papers circulated on 17 November 2023 confirmed that the Bill has been formally tabled in Parliament.

The General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill has been gazetted – possibly in lieu of the explanatory summary required before any piece of proposed new legislation is formally introduced in Parliament.

Published in the eGazette well after close of business on 14 November 2023, the Bill proposes measures intended to give practical effect to:

  • recommendations in the Presidential High Level Review Panel on State Security Agency report, and
  • the 1994 White Paper on Intelligence

It is also informed by the findings of international benchmark studies conducted on the ‘architecture’ of several key national intelligence services.

Against that backdrop, the Bill seeks to establish:

  • a ‘foreign intelligence service’
  • a ‘domestic intelligence agency’
  • provide for ‘the legislative functions of … signals intelligence’, and
  • re-establish the South African National Academy of Intelligence.

Regarding signals intelligence, the Bill responds to declarations by the High Court and Constitutional Court that ‘bulk surveillance activities and the foreign signals interception undertaken by the National Communications Centre are unlawful and invalid’.

Other key provisions:

  • empower the Minister to prescribe regulations on:
  • cybersecurity
  • the identification of critical electronic communications and infrastructure, and
  • private security industry co-ordination ‘on a needs basis’.

Once tabled, the Bill will be processed by an ad hoc committee chaired by ANC MP Jerome Maake.

Published by SA Legal Academy Policy Watch

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