Recommendations to the Minister October 2017: Recommendation 7

Recommendations to the Minister by the National Forum

Section 97(1)(a)(vii): The National Forum must make recommendations to the Minister on a mechanism to wind up the affairs of the National Forum.

It is recommended that
7.1.1.    The affairs of the National Forum must be wound up on the date of commencement of chapter 2 of the Act;
7.1.2.    Balance of budgeted funds of the National Forum or monies defrayed from the budget vote of the Department in terms of section 108(2)(a) shall, after all the debts, liabilities and financial commitments of the National Forum has been satisfied, return to the Department;
7.1.3.    Assets of the National Forum acquired through monies referred to under section 108(2)(a) and (b) of the Act, if any, shall be transferred to the Council. The full inventory of these assets will be recorded in the asset register, as per the Department of Justice, as at 1 February 2018.
7.1.4.    The staff employed by the National Forum should be transferred to the Council; and
7.1.5.    The provisions of section 197 of the Labour Relations Act shall be applicable to the transferred staff members but it will be the responsibility of the Council to place such transferred staff in the positions in which they appropriately qualify.

The reasons for the recommendations are:-
7.2.1.    In respect to assets:-
This proposed mechanism gives certainty on what shall happen to the assets and it will ensure that all the assets are positively accounted for. The assets will also make it possible that the functions of the Council will commence immediately the Council is established.

7.2.2.     In respect of staff:-
The transfer of staff of the National Forum to the Council will ensure that when the Council is established it will be in a position to immediately commence with some of its administrative functions. These staff complement has acquired in-depth and technical knowledge in respect of the provisions of the Act when giving administrative and technical support to the National Forum. They have institutional knowledge and skills which will be helpful in putting in motion the functions of the Council.

If the recommendation is accepted, it is proposed that the Minister should issue the Regulation of which a draft is contained in Appendix “G”, to give effect to the recommendation. The procedural requirements for the issuing of Regulations are set out in s94(2) & (3) and s109(1). In order to enable the National Forum to attend to the deployment of its staff as well as those employees who must be transferred from the existing Law Societies to the new Council in terms of s97(2), in the interest of the effective functioning of the new regulatory structures, the Regulation should become effective as soon as Chapter 2 of the Act is implemented in terms of s120(3).

The proposed organisational structuring and personnel requirements of the Council and Provincial Councils as a whole are dealt with in Recommendation 8.