Committee Business: Third Term Committee Programme

Science and Technology

22 August 2012
Chairperson: Ms M Dunjwa (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met briefly to consider its Third Term Draft Committee Programme. The Committee Secretary took the Committee through the draft programme highlighting scheduled meetings and oversight visits of the Committee. Members made suggestions and it was agreed that the Committee Secretary would accommodate these inputs as far as possible.

Meeting report

Election of Acting Chairperson
Ms Shaanaz Isaacs, Committee Secretary welcomed Members and informed them that they need to elect an acting chairperson due to the absence of Dr N Ngcobo. Members would also consider the committee programme and invitations before the Committee. She requested Members to make their nominations for the election of the Acting Chairperson.

Adv M Nonkonyana (ANC) nominated Ms M Dunjwa to become the acting chairperson.

Mr P Smith (IFP) seconded the nomination.

The Committee elected Ms Dunjwa as the acting chairperson of the Committee.

Committee Programme for Third Term
The Chairperson asked the Committee Secretary to first take the Committee through the draft programme so that Members could engage with it then after.

Ms Isaacs highlighted the Committee’s planned activities for the term:

● On Wednesday 29 August, the Committee would receive a briefing from the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on its expenditure and performance for first quarter 2012/13.

●Between 3 and 7 September 2012, it would be a Committee Week and a separate application would be submitted for oversight visits.

●In terms of the Western Cape Oversight Visits, on Tuesday 4 September 2012, the Committee would visit the iThemba LABS, Faure. On Wednesday 5 September 2012, the Committee would be visiting OTB site in Arniston (rocket launching, weapon-testing facility), and in Grabouw they would visit the Houwteq (satellite building and testing site). And on Thursday, 6 September they would be visiting SANSA HMO in Hermanus.
●On Wedsenday, 12 September 2012, the Committee would receive a briefing from HySA catalysis Centre of Competence University of Cape Town.

●On 13 of September 2012, there would be an NRF 2012 Awards ceremony at Lagoon Beach Hotel in Milnerton and separate application for the event would be made.

●On 19 September 2012, it would be Committee Business where the Committee would adopt committee minutes and reports including the adoption of the fourth term committee programme.

With regards to items for future inclusion in the Committee Programme Ms Isaacs stated that the International Astronautical Conference/Congress would take place between the 30 September and 3 October 2012, in Napels. The CSIR Bennial Conference: Science Real and Relevant would take place from 9-10 October 2012.

Ms Isaacs said that the outstanding business of the Committee included the Intellectual Property Rights form Publicly Financed Research and Development Act – Progress on and challenges with regard to implementation.

Ms Isaacs stated that there was also the issue of collaborative meetings with the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture (GMO), Mining (Acid Mine drainage), Health (HIV technologies and vaccines), Transport (potholes), Environment (climate change), Energy, Education, etc.

She noted that the formal training for Members would include Innovation Management collaborating with University of Pretoria or University of Stellenbosch.

Ms Isaacs stated that visits included an on site brief for Hydrogen and fuel technology research and development programme at the University of the Western Cape. The Committee would also embark on an Oversight visit to the Eastern Cape.

Ms Isaacs concluded that in terms of briefings, the Committee would be briefed by the South African Council for natural Scientific Professions, and other briefings would emanate from the Committee Planning Session.

Mr Smith asked whether in terms of the collaborations with other committees there were any specific invitations for the Committee to address in this term or would deal with them in the last term, and he did not know the urgency of the invitation at this stage.

Ms J Kloppers-Lourens (DA) asked if it was possible to include in the programme a visit by the Committee to the Sun Space, Innovative Satellite Solutions in Stellenbosch.

Adv Nonkanyana suggested that the Committee should do at least two oversight visits on the 4 September 2012, one in the morning to iThemba LABS and another in the afternoon to OTB site or to Houwteq satellite building and testing station so as to catch two birds with one stone.

Ms Isaacs Secretary said she would consider the suggestions by Members and include what would be possible and what could be covered depending on the distance between the places they would be visiting.

The Chairperson said that with regard to collaborations with other committees they were all important but what was needed was to find a common ground with other committees so as to work with them in terms of the programmes that affected the DST. The Committee Secretary should include some of the inputs from Members so that all what was captured in the programme would reflect their modus operandi.

The Chairperson informed the Committee that there was an invitation to attend a conference of the Convention for People with Disabilities in New York and the Committee should nominate one person to go to that conference.

Ms S Plaatjie (COPE) nominated Ms P Mocumi (ANC) to go and attend that conference since she had experience in such matters.

Adv Nonkonyana seconded the nomination.

The Committee agreed that Ms Mocumi should attend the Conference on behalf of the Committee.

Mr Luyanda Frans, Parliamentary Laison Officer informed the Committee that there was another invitation from Women in Science Awards which would take place on the 24 August 2012, in Pretoria.

The Chairperson asked Ms Kloppers-Laurens and Ms Mocumi to avail themselves for that invitation since they were the Members of the Committee that were closer to that venue in terms of their constituency.

Ms Kloppers-Laurens said she already had other party engagement on that day and would not be able to attend that gathering.

Ms Mocumi said she would attend the awards on behalf of ANC and the Committee.

The Chairperson thanked Members for their inputs. She requested the Committee Secretary to include all the inputs from Members and all other possible future engagements of the Committee into the final programme.

The meeting was adjourned.


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