Hydrographic Bill Sent to NCOP

Department of Defence

A bill designed to provide for the setting up of the Hydrographic Office has been passed by the national assembly and sent to the national council of provinces for concurrence.

The Hydrographic Bill was drawn up by the defence and military veterans department.

It was tabled in parliament at the beginning of June 2018.

The bill aims to:

•    provide for the establishment of the Hydrographic Office;
•    provide for its objects, functions and the manner in which it is to be managed;
•    provide for the appointment and powers of the Hydrographer and the staff in the Hydrographic Office;
•    regulate the submission of hydrographic data;
•    regulate the manner in which hydrographic survey marks and copyrights may be protected;
•    provide for the limitation of civil liability;
•    provide for the manner in which the income of the Hydrographic Office must be dealt with;
•    provide for co-operation agreements; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.

The setting up of the Hydrographic Office, currently within the South African National Defence Force, will enable it to continue to exist as a unit in the South African Navy.

During its deliberations, new definitions on “hydrographic data” and “user” were inserted into the bill.

A new subclause 12(1) was also added dealing with the liability of the Hydrographic Office in the event of gross negligence or a willful act or omission relating to the use of any nautical publication or nautical charts produced and sold by the Hydrographic Office.

The select committee on security and justice will process the bill.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

Related legislation: