MPs pass weather bill

2013-11-12 22:17

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Cape Town - Changes to the law governing weather forecasting were approved by MPs on Tuesday.

The SA weather service amendment bill aims to make it an offence for a person other than the statutory SA Weather Service (SAWS) to issue warnings of severe weather.

According to the measure, the SAWS is the "single authoritative voice" on severe weather forecasts, and anyone who knowingly issues a false or misleading warning will face severe penalties.

Those found guilty of contravening this provision face a fine not exceeding R5m or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.

The bill was passed by the National Assembly, with the support of all parties in the House, and will now go to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.

The measure also deals with air quality monitoring, and the management of air quality data.

Once promulgated, it will allow SAWS to issue - subject to ministerial approval - ambient air quality forecasts and warnings.

Read more on:    saws  |  weather

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