Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Deputy President, hon members, the ANC welcomes the President's referral of the Protection of State Information Bill to the National Assembly for consideration of his reservations in terms of section 79(1) of the Constitution, because some sections of the Bill, in particular clauses 42 and 45, lack meaning and coherence, consequently being irrational and unconstitutional.
We are happy that the committee agreed with the President's reservations and corrected them comprehensively, as stated in the committee report before the House. First of all, what caused the problem, what caused the challenges identified by His Excellency President Zuma are several technical errors in the final Bill which was sent to him. Some of them were so material that they could be challenged by the members of the public on whom obligations were being imposed that were incoherent and irrational, as in clauses 42 and 45, in that they were creating offences or sometimes putting an obligation on someone in returning classified documents.
We thank the President for putting the people first by bringing back these reservations. We thank the committee for dealing with other technical errors in the Bill even if they were not so material, but had the potential of being incoherent and irrational, for instance, incorrect spelling, punctuation and incorrect cross-references.
What is clear, Deputy Speaker, is that Parliament must seriously increase its capacity to avoid technical errors in legislation as it is now, unlike during the apartheid era, dealing with large volumes of legislation. We must increase the capacity of Parliament's legal drafting and committee section in order to provide appropriate support to Parliament and its committees when making amendments. The ANC supports the Bill. Thank you.