The Committee met to consider and formally adopt the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill. A five-page document setting out the amendments that the Committee had earlier proposed and agreed to was tabled and the Committee approved all the amendments, and voted to accept the Bill as well.
A DA Member then raised his concern that there was no agenda item for discussion on the TB conference in Barcelona; the DA had been concerned and considered this as an appeal to get members to sign up to the Barcelona TB declaration. He was concerned that the matter had been deliberately blocked despite his having followed the correct procedure. However, the Chairperson apologised for the error and other Members suggested that, because a full background and detail would be needed, it would make sense to defer this to the next meeting, and it was agreed that this would be done.
Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill: Adoption
The Chairperson noted that the Committee was now at the final stages of working through the Bill. She noted that a five-page document (see attached) was tabled, setting out the wording of amendments being proposed to the Bill by the Portfolio Committee, in line with earlier discussions.
The Committee worked through the amendments, noting each in turn.
There were no specific comments on any of the five pages and Members were satisfied with those amendments.
The Committee voted to adopt the amendments, and then the Bill as amended.
Other Committee business
Dr W James (ANC) queried why an item that was raised previously as having to go on the agenda for discussion had not been put on the agenda for today.
This was in relation to the TB conference in Barcelona. He had initially disagreed and stated that the DA felt that it was just an appeal to get the members to sign up to the Barcelona TB declaration. He felt that the Chairperson was being unconstitutional and unethical about blocking this item from being raised at this meeting. He wished to object to the behaviour of the Chairperson, and asked that it be put on record formally that he had been blocked from tabling the matter, by the executive, although he had followed the correct protocol.
The Chairperson apologised for the omission.
Mr A Shaik Emam (NFP) suggested that the Members should put the TB item on the agenda for discussion at the next meeting.
Mr H Volmink (DA) also raised an objection to the behaviour of the Chairperson.
Mr A Mahlalela (ANC) said that Members needed time to prepare themselves for this discussion on TB, and agreed that it should be put on the agenda prior to the next meeting, so that Members could think about it and engage on it. For this reason, he suggested that any further discussion should be deferred to the next meeting.
The Chairperson said that it would be discussed at the end of the meeting.
Later, she stated that the matter had been raised already in Parliament. She was worried that it might have come across as though the Committee was insensitive, and this was not the case. It was very important that the National Assembly be informed of this topic as well as the National Council of Provinces. She apologised again for not tabling the item at this meeting, and agreed it would be tabled at the next meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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