The Department of Science and Technology and Office of the Chief State Law Adviser presented the final draft of the Portfolio Committee’s proposed amendments to the Africa Institute of South African Act Repeal Bill for consideration. Subsequent to the previous meeting in Parliament, the two entities, Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) and Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), had agreed that ring-fencing of the AISA budget for this Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period should be dealt with administratively within the Department of Science and Technology through the allocation process. There were three proposed amendments to the Bill and two consequential amendments to the Objects of the Memorandum on the Bill. These were adopted by the Committee.
Final Portfolio Committee Amendments to the Africa Institute of South Africa Act Repeal Bill
The Chairperson said that the purpose of the meeting was to try to finalise the Africa Institute of South Africa Repeal Bill [B6B-2013]. The Law Advisors had resolved any controversial points with the entities in question and therefore the Bill should be straightforward, finalised and accommodated within the current National Council of Provinces (NCOP) final cycle. If not, it ran the risk of having to be delayed until the Fifth Parliament in May/June 2014.
Mr Thulani Mavuso, Chief Operations Officer: DST, said that DST had discussed the Committee’s reservations towards one clause regarding ring-fencing of AISA funds. Both AISA and the HSRC agreed that the matter of ring-fencing of the AISA budget for the MTEF period should be dealt with administratively within DST through the allocation process.
Changes proposed were:
Page 2, line 14: to omit the words ‘and funding’ from the heading and substitute with the heading “Transitional measures, savings, dissolution of Council of Institute”.
Page 3, line 5: to omit “disestablished and dissolved, with effect from the date contemplated in section 5” and to substitute with “hereby dissolved”. “The Council of the Institute, established by section 4(1) of the Africa Institute of South Africa Act, 2001 (Act No.68 of 2001), is hereby dissolved”.
Page 3, line 7: to delete subsection 6 altogether, as it referred to funding allocations.
Mr P Smith (IFP) said that he accepted the Bill as it stood.
Mr Herman Smuts, Principal State Law Adviser, said that if the amendments were in line with the wishes of the Committee, there were consequential amendments to the Memorandum.
Consequential Amendments were:
Page 4: Objects paragraphs 1.6 and 2.3.3 no longer applied and therefore would be omitted from the Memorandum On The Objects.
Mr Michael Prince, Parliamentary Legal Adviser, said that Parliament’s Legal Services Office was in agreement with all amendments to the Bill, as well as the consequential amendments.
Ms J Kloppers-Lourens reserved her right to abstain as she was obligated to brief her caucus before voting.
Ms S Plaatjie (COPE) also reserved her right to abstain due to the same caucus requirement.
Adoption of Africa Institute of South Africa Act Repeal Bill
The Portfolio Committee on Science & Technology, having considered the subject of the Africa Institute of South Africa Act Repeal Bill [B6-2013], National Assembly, referred to and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill, reported the Bill with amendments [B6A-2013].
Ms M Dunjwa (ANC) moved for adoption of the Bill with amendments.
Mr Smith seconded the motion of the Whip.
The Chairperson thanked the DST and Law Advisors for their support throughout the process of finalisation of the amendments to the Bill. The Bill would be taken to the House and since there were no controversies, he would request that no debate would be necessary in the House. However, that would depend on the two outstanding caucus responses. He wished the DST and AISA good luck in their marriage.
The meeting was adjourned.
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