New laws coming to South Africa – including changes for sectional titles and complexes and domestic workers

Staff Writer28 November 2022


Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidential desk has a wad of bills that are waiting to be signed into law.

The new bills range from laws dealing with employment equity in businesses across the country to the employment of domestic workers – and one that deals specifically with those who live in complexes or sectional titles.

The new bills are outlined in more detail below:

Sectional titles

Earlier this month, Parliament passed the Sectional Titles Amendment Bill after being tabled in November 2020.

The bill aims to amend certain definitions within older legislation and, among other things, legislate the exclusive use of certain areas in the shared property by one person.

When it becomes law, the act will also put in place regulations dealing with the development of schemes, including extensions and common property. The amendments are, however, mainly aimed at the managers and Home Owners’ Associations of complexes across the country.

A handful of impactful amendments that are accompanied by more include:

  • Requiring developed to have meetings with every lessee of a building that is rented out, either wholly or partially, to answer questions put to the developer by the agents of the lessees
  • An architect or land surveyor’s certificate must comply with section 26(2) of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act  (where land is only allowed to be used for the permitted purposes)
  • Provide for the amendment of sectional title plans in respective of exclusive use areas.
  • Require a property developer to submit a plan for subdivision or consolidation to the surveyor-general for approval to subdivide, consolidate and extend a section.

Domestic workers

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill is awaiting the presidential signature.

Labour minister Thulas Nxesi introduced the bill to Parliament in September 2020 with the aim to recognise domestic workers as employees eligible for traditional formal workplace benefits.

Domestic workers prior to the bill were excluded from occupational benefits such as monetary compensation for injuries or diseases that either occurred or were a result of labour.

After Ramaphosa signs the bill into law, the Compensation Fund will accept claims from domestic employees who sustain workplace injuries under the new laws, and it will also accept claims from the dependents of domestic workers who pass away as a result of injuries sustained while performing their duties.

It further stipulates who the “main employer” of a domestic worker is and holds them accountable for injuries sustained at the workplace. Employers of domestic workers and employees will also be required to make a contribution to the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Employment Equity 

Key changes to business employment systems are set to be implemented with the Employment Equity Amendment Bill.

The new bill aims to make it so that smaller employers are not required to comply with the obligations of a designated employer relating to affirmative action – relieving the burden on smaller businesses.

According to legal experts at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH), the act will effectively change the definition of ‘designated employer’ to not include those employers who hire fewer than 50 people, irrespective of yearly turnover.

The new act will, however, also make it more important for businesses that work with the state to be in good standing compliance-wise with Employment Equity standards. The government has cautioned that even businesses that do not directly deal with the state are to comply with the law.

Once signed, the new laws are expected to come into operation on 1 September 2023.

The Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) lists further bills that are waiting for the presidential signature. These relate more so with the financial sector, division of revenue for government institutions, land, and the prosecution of drug-related crimes.

Other bills include:

  • Traditional Courts Bill
  • Communal Property Associations Amendment Bill
  • Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill
  • Division of Revenue Amendment Bill
  • Drugs and Drug Trafficking Amendment Bill
  • financial Sector and Deposit Insurance Levies
  • Deposit Insurance Premiums Bill