Parliament step closer to replacing National Key Points Act

The National Key Points Act is an apartheid-era law which protects various government buildings and properties around the country.

FILE: Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament is one step closer to having the controversial National Key Points Act replaced.

On Thursday morning Members of Parliament (MPs) continued discussing its replacement, the Critical Infrastructure Protection bill.

The National Key Points Act is an apartheid-era law which protects various government buildings and properties around the country and came under heavy scrutiny during former president Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla scandal.

The new bill was introduced by the police minister late last year.

The proposed Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill hasn’t come without any objections from the media and lobby groups.

In its submission in January, Greenpeace Africa labelled the bill unconstitutional as it restricts and criminalises protesting at national key points.

Violating the legislation could result in a hefty 30-year jail sentence.

The South African National Editors’ Forum has also made submissions raising concern over how the proposed bill could affect journalists.

Police legal advisor Brigadier Bert van der Walt said: “The main bone of contention is that the bill limits freedom of expression in a manner that’s consistent with the Constitution.”

The bill will then go to the National Council of Provinces for further deliberation and approval before it is eventually signed into law by the President.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)