If adopted, the MAI [Multilateral Agreement on Investment] would contribute a significant chapter in what has been called the ""constitution of a single global economy"", or ""a bill of rights and freedoms for transnational corporations ... a declaration of corporate rule"" '. Per M Kothari, 50th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, 1998, Geneva.
Parliament recently passed a new law on water; known as the National Water Act 36 of 1998. The Act replaces the previous Water Act 54 of 1956, and repeals more than a hundred other Acts dealing with water. The new Act drastically changes the basic concepts of water law in South Africa. It is the result of a long process of consultation and deliberation, stretching over a period of some three years. Most of the provisions of the National Water Act came into operation on 1 October 1998. Some provisions, particularly those dealing with licences and charges, will be put into effect at a later date.
In July 1997, the South African Law Commission (SALC) conducted a review of the maintenance system (Issue Paper 5, Project 100) in order to investigate the operation of the Maintenance Act 23 of 1963 and to recommend steps to try to ensure a more effective maintenance system. Subsequently. a project committee was appointed to continue with the SALC's investigation into maintenance. Meanwhile, in 1997 the Department of Justice published a discussion paper entitled 'Maintenance Law Reform: The Way Ahead'. As a result of the findings of this discussion paper, a new Maintenance Bill (B72-98)* was published in July 1998, which incorporates some of the recommendations of the SALC and will, if implemented, entirely repeal and replace the existing Maintenance Act.