A draft General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill has been submitted to Parliament for information and planning purposes only. While the draft approved by Cabinet on 24 May 2023 was posted at the time on the State Security website, it is not clear if this is the version now waiting to be certified by the Office of the Chief State Law Adviser before being formally tabled. At the time of writing this report, no procedurally required explanatory memorandum had been gazetted.

According to a media statement on the Cabinet meeting at which the Bill was approved, its overarching objectives are to give effect to:

  • recommendations made by the presidential high-level review panel on South Africa’s State Security Agency, and
  • a plan for implementing Zondo Commission recommendations.

Once passed and operationalised, the Bill is also expected to ‘further ensure that the services of the State Security Agency are not abused to serve the interests or agenda of certain individuals’.

With these objectives in mind, among other things the Bill seeks to:

  • restructure the country’s intelligence services by provide for ‘institutional architecture that enables effectiveness and efficiency’ when dealing with domestic intelligence foreign and foreign intelligence
  • remedy functional defects in ‘signals intelligence capacity’
  • address weaknesses identified through the international Financial Action Task Force process, by empowering national security structures to investigate and conduct security assessments of persons and institutions ‘of national security interest’
  • strengthen measures to regulate and co-ordinate the private security industry as part of a ‘broader’ approach to national security, and
  • ‘put in place measures to regulate the conduct of former members of the service and others with access to intelligence information’.

Please click the links below for more details:

  • Cabinet statement
  • draft Bill posted on the State Security website
  • parliamentary papers confirming the draft Bill’s submission 

Published by SA Legal Academy Policy Watch

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