Creating and editing works

Whether it's a new Act, By-law, or set of Regulations, or a new Commencing, Amending, or Repealing work, if it doesn't yet exist on the system it will need to be created.

For this, you will usually need either:

  • a copy of the work as published in the Gazette (or other official publication); or

  • the metadata for that work as provided by a trusted source.

You will use this to fill in as many details as are available in the New work form. The instructions below will assume that you are using a copy of the work as published in the Gazette (or other official publication).

There is a section below for each field in the form.

How to create a new work

To create any new work, regardless of its type or content, open the works page for the appropriate place and click New work:

A form will open that looks like this:

How to edit an existing work

To edit an existing work, click Edit work on the work detail page:

Work details

The work details are the core, basic details for a work. Items marked with a red asterisk are required and cannot be blank.

Short title

This is the short title of the Work, such as 'Accountants Act, 2012', or 'Nursing Regulations, 2009'. The official short title of a Work is usually specified in its 'Short title' section. If there isn't one, refer to the contents page of the Gazette. For instructions on naming South African By-laws, see the page on that topic:

pageSouth African By-laws

Short titles normally use Title Case. Don’t use ALL CAPS.

Year of introduction

This is the year in which the work was first introduced into Parliament or Council.

For example: for 'Act 5 of 2012', the year of introduction is 2012.

Number within year

This is the number of the work within the year of introduction. Together with the year, it uniquely identifies the work.

For example: for 'Act 5 of 2012', the number within the year is '5'.

Numbers for by-laws and other works without numbers

South African by-laws, and other works, sometimes don't have numbers. In this case, use the title of the work, but with the following changes:

  • use all lowercase

  • replace all spaces with hyphens

  • remove references to the name of the municipality or town, since this is already captured

  • remove the word 'by-law' and phrases such as 'relating to'

For example: for the 'Cape Town By-law relating to the consumption of Strawberries', the number would be 'consumption-of-strawberries'. Yum, strawberries. 🍓

Work subtype

Leave this blank for Acts. For other types of works, choose an option from the dropdown list. Examples include by-law, legal notice (ln), and statutory instrument (si).

Primary work

Leave this blank for everything other than Regulations (subsidiary legislation).

When working with Regulations, the Primary work will be the Act in terms of which the Regulations are promulgated. For example, the Nursing Regulations will have the Nursing Act as the Primary work.

Click Choose primary work and search for the relevant Act.

Do not use Primary work to link an Amending or Commencing work to the Principal work.

pageTerminology guide


For a Principal work – a new Act, a new By-law, or new Regulations – leave this box unchecked.

For everything else, e.g. a Commencing work or an Amending work, check this box.


The publication details refer to when and where the work was first published in an official government publication, such as the Government Gazette.

Publication date, name and number

For the publication date, use the date of publication of the Gazette. In the example below, this is 2016-03-04.

For the publication name, use the name of the publication, such as Government Gazette. Choose an option from the dropdown list, if possible. In the example below, this is Eastern Cape Provincial Gazette.

The publication number is the number of the publication or gazette. In the example below, this is 3614.

Do not use volume number, part number, or supplement number for the publication number.

Attaching a publication document

Having a record of the work as it was originally published by the relevant authority enables end users to verify any content published using the platform.

Once the publication date, name and number have been filled in, an option to Attach document will appear in places where we already have a collection of gazettes and the relevant gazette was found in that collection. You can Ctrl/Cmd+click the link ending in .pdf to open it in a new tab and verify that this is the right gazette before attaching it.

If the option does not appear, double-check the details you have entered. If you're certain of them and have a copy of the original work to hand, upload it using the Browse... or similar option.

Commencement and Assent

The Commencement date is the date on which a Work starts having legal force; the Assent date is the date on which it was approved / signed by the relevant authority.


Unless the work specifically states that it will only come into force by Notice or Proclamation, check the Commenced box. This will give you the option to enter the Commencement date.

The Commencement date will often be the same as the Publication date. Check the 'Short title' section of the work for exceptions.

If this is a Principal work with a Commencing work, click Choose commencing work and search for it.

The commencing work must be created separately on the platform.

If this is a brand new Work that says it will commence by Notice / Proclamation, the Commencing work probably doesn't exist yet. In that case, leave the Commenced box unchecked for now.

In rare cases when working with older legislation, we may have strong reason to believe that a Work has been in force for some time, but we're still looking for the Commencing work to pin down the exact date on which it commenced. Only in those rare cases, check the Commencement date is unknown box.

Assent date

Acts often explicitly give an Assent date in the Gazette:

By-laws often don't have an Assent date, but when they do it will be the date on which it was approved by Council:

pageTerminology guide


If the work has been repealed, click Choose repealing work and search for the Repealing work.

The date will auto-fill as the Commencement date of the Repealing work. If a different date for the Repeal was specified in the Repealing work, edit the date before saving.

The repealing work must be created separately on the platform.

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