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19 JUNE 2020

Blind SA instituted legal proceedings in the Constitutional Court against President Ramaphosa in May 2020 to compel him to perform his duties in terms of Section 79 of the Constitution of South Africa vis-à-vis the Copyright Amendment Bill (CAB). The CAB had been with the President since March 28th 2019. Earlier today Blind SA was informed by the State Attorney that the President had now decided to refer the CAB to Parliament on the grounds of certain specific constitutional reasons.

In the correspondence forwarded by the State Attorney to Blind SA, the specific constitutional reasons were identified as: –

Incorrect tagging of the Bill;
Retrospective and arbitrary deprivations of property;
Insufficient public hearing on Fair Use;
Impermissible delegation of legislative power to the Minister; and
Copyright exceptions and limitations that are in conflict with WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty.

The President did not include in his reservations for Parliament to consider, Section 19D, which is the copyright exceptions and limitations for blind, visually impaired and otherwise print disabled persons.

Blind SA’s legal team will study the State Attorney’s letter and the options available to Blind SA going forward. Blind SA is satisfied that the action instituted in the Constitutional Court has at least resulted in the President now complying with his duties under Section 79 of the Constitution.

Click to read ReCreates’ analysis of the President’s letter.

For more information, please contact
Jace Nair
Blind SA
Mobile: 0609670258

EducateMe SMS: 45345

11 Responses

    1. Blind SA is currently studying the referral letter sent by the President to the National Assembly

    1. We are aware of the European Commission correspondence to our President pressurising him not to sign the CAB and PPAB into law.
      Our President caved into international pressure from the EU and US and referred the two Bills to Parliament.
      Blind SA and supporters of the CAB are studying the actions of the President and will respond after broader consultation have taken place.

      PS: The President is continuing to deny blind people access to published works in an accessible format since the Copyright Act 1978 does not have exceptions and limitations for blind people.

  1. Pingback: How the U.S. and European Union pressured South Africa to delay copyright reform – Information-top - All sports
    1. Blind SA notes the comments and is disappointed that President Ramaphosa caved into economic pressure from the US and EU who have interfered in South African democracy. The US has fair use in their legislation for over forty years and have exceptions and limitations and ratified the Marrakesh Treaty for American blind and partially sighted citizens and would deny South African blind people this basic human right.

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