The South African government has gazetted a Draft National Heraldry Bill which, if passed, will replace the current Heraldry Act 1962. The draft can be downloaded from here.
This draft bill has been more than a decade in the making. Work began on it in 2012, and the completed draft was submitted to the ministry in 2017. The purpose was to bring the legislation up to date, rather than to break much new ground. The heraldry authorities were to be given new names, and provision was to be made for the registration and legal protection of traditional totem emblems as well as heraldic representations.
It will be interesting to see what the parliamentary Arts & Culture committee makes of it, what the MPs make of it (and do to it!), and what the final form will be if and when it becomes law.
Is it legal? Does it matter? Discuss it here.
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- Arthur Radburn
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