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Blind SA and SECTION27 are deeply concerned by the National Assembly’s postponement of its deliberation, and ultimately, its vote, on the Copyright Amendment Bill. At this rate, Parliament’s obligation to remedy the unconstitutional Copyright Act 98 of 1978 by September 2024, as ordered by the Constitutional Court in September 2022, may not be fulfilled in view of the 6th administration of government’s term ending in May 2024. It is also uncertain whether the 7th administration’s new political configuration, with its newly elected members of Parliament, will prioritise the finalisation of the Bill and implement its changes in time to enable compliance with the court order. In its judgment, the Constitutional Court confirmed that the Copyright Act has denied Blind people their basic rights for far too long already, and prolonging this violation is further discrimination.

 

Blind SA and SECTION27 therefore urge Parliament to reschedule its consideration of the Copyright Amendment Bill as soon as possible and give effect to the necessary amendments, so that the exceptions and limitations required by Blind persons to ensure access to reading materials is implemented in accordance with the Constitutional Court judgement. Blind SA and SECTION27 will take whatever steps necessary to ensure the government’s compliance with the Constitutional Court order of 21 September 2022.

 

For more information, please contact Jace Nair email:  ceo@blindsa.org.za cell: 0609670258

Or Demichelle Petherbridge  email: Petherbridge@section27.org.za

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