DA rejects Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill as DTI and Committee ignores public submissions

Les Labuschagne MPL

Spokesperson on Economic Development

The DA in the Gauteng Legislature voted against the final mandate which would have authorised the Gauteng delegation in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to support the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill.

During public hearings held by the  Gauteng Economic Development Portfolio Committee various members of the public and professional practitioners raised numerous concerns about the Bill, in particular questioning whether it would achieve its intended purpose. Alternate proposals and suggestions were submitted for serious consideration.

Due to the often technical  nature of the submissions and to verify the veracity thereof the  Portfolio Committee  requested that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) clarify these matters. The DTI contemptuously ignored the Portfolio Committees request notwithstanding the fact that the DTI representative at the public hearing indicated an inability to answer the same!

Not addressing the views and concerns raised by the public at a public hearing makes a mockery of the so called public participation arranged by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

The DA maintains that the Bill cannot be implemented and that it undermines existing copyright, trademark, patent, design, performance and film protection. This bad law will not protect traditional knowledge.

The DA refuses to be a rubber stamp for both the DTI and the Gauteng Department of Economic Development hence our opposition to a badly crafted Bill. The ANC was happy to be a rubber stamp for the bureaucracy.