Last week, SERI made a submission to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the Unlawful Entering on Premises Bill.
On 12 August 2022, The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development issued a notice calling on all stakeholders and interested persons to submit written comments on the proposed Unlawful Entering on Premises Bill, 2022 (the Bill). The stated purpose of the Bill is to prohibit unlawful entry on premises and to provide for matters connected therewith. Among other things, it provides for the offence of unlawful entry and the penalties to be imposed if a person is found to be guilty of the offence; the duty to inform an “intruder” of unlawful entry; the powers of the police; and defences to the offence of unlawful entry. In brief, the Bill seeks to repeal and replace the Trespass Act 6 of 1959 (“the Trespass Act”) and to prohibit unlawful entry on premises.
SERI has read and considered the Bill and makes this submission to the Department in accordance with the invitation to submit written comments.
Overall, SERI is concerned that the Bill, in its current state, does little to advance the ideals of our democratic dispensation. On the contrary, it rolls back progress made since the end of apartheid. The Bill contradicts the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from, and Unlawful Occupation of, Land Act 19 of 1998 (“the PIE Act”) in numerous places. We do not believe that Bill can be salvaged and as a result, we contend that the Bill must be abandoned in its entirety. Furthermore, SERI submits that the Trespass Act should still be repealed.
Download SERI’s submission here.