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Research Skills: Locating Legislation

A step-by-step approach to ensure that you possess the key skills required to find, retrieve and evaluate information on your research topic.

Online Legislation

The Acts and Regulations of Parliament from 1994 can also be sourced online in the Government Gazette and the Provincial Acts and Regulations from 1995 can be sourced online in the Provincial Gazette via the library’s homepage. These two databases are available off-campus, but treat the information with caution as the Acts and Regulations are not consolidated and do not include any new amendments made to the texts. These resources are therefore most useful for new Acts and Regulations. The library is considering a subscription to the Retrospective Government Gazettes, a new Sabinet database which provides searchable access to the full text of the Government Gazettes published between 1910 and 1993. 

Other online legislation can be found in the LexisNexis Butterworths Online products on the subject database pages and the Jutastat products on the Unisa Library CD-ROM Network (via the WinCDNet icon). These two resources are consolidated and indicate the date until which the information is current. Note that these two resources are not available to off-campus users. 

NetLaw: SA Legislation is a resource that offers full-text consolidated versions of the Acts and Regulations published after 1910 with references to relevant case law. This database forms part of the Sabinet Legal Products group of databases, and one of its great virtues is that it is available to off-campus library users. 

Online Bills, Acts and Regulations can also be accessed from various free Internet sites, but again, treat these sites with caution as the legislation posted there is not always kept up to date to reflect any amendments. These web sites are particularly useful for recent information, and include 

Government internet sites:

Printed Legislation

The Acts are published in the Government Gazette and are collected in loose-leaf or bound volumes by leading South African legal publishers, ie. Butterworths and Juta. The Government Gazette is a publication through which government makes its official announcements to the public, and an act does not become law until it has been published and proclaimed in the Government Gazette or Provincial Gazette. Draft bills, white papers, proclamations, government notices, commencement dates of statutes, etc., are published in the Gazette.

Butterworths publishes a loose-leaf set of consolidated Acts, which are kept up to date by annual supplements. The set is arranged alphabetically by subject, eg. agriculture, constitutional law, criminal law, labour, etc. Within each subject or title, the Acts are arranged chronologically. The first volume is the index which contains both an alphabetical and chronological table of statutes and their corresponding volumes. Juta publishes an annual set of bound volumes of consolidated statutes, with an index that provides an alphabetical and chronological table of statutes, and the Gazette numbers where regulations or Acts may be found.