Deputy Speaker, previous speakers have dealt with the technicalities of the Bill and I will therefore not repeat that, but what we wish to emphasise is that there is an ever-present danger of oil spills and the resultant pollution and destruction of the fauna and flora of our maritime environments and beaches. Protecting these precious assets must be our primary aim.
The protocol essentially modifies the entry of in-service requirements and increases the quantum of the compensation amount of the 1971 convention.
This Bill, amongst certain others, will give force and effect to our country's obligations under the Civil Liability Convention as well as the said 1992 protocol.
The question of liability and compensation for loss or damage caused by the contamination resulting from the escape or discharge of persistent oil from tankers has always been fraught with difficulty of enforcement.
Claimants will now be entitled to be compensated by the registered shipowner or his insurer for pollution damages suffered in the territory or exclusive economic zone of a contracting state.
The liability of the offending party is strict, but subject to limitation. The conventions provide for a compensation of up to R3,04 billion to be paid after an incident involving an oil tanker. This is a significant and welcome increase from the prior compensation of only R210 million. The IFP supports the Bill. [Applause.]