Documents handed out:
Department of Science and Technology DST First Quarter Performance and Financial Report
Final 2017/18 First Quarter Performance Report [awaited]
The Committee was briefed by the Department on its First Quarter Performance and Financial Report (April 2017 – June 2017). The Department reported that the measure of success would be the level to which science, technology and innovation played a driving role in enhancing productivity; economic growth and socio-economic development. The Department would continue to play a central role in providing SETi initiatives that enhanced socio-economic development.
The Committee felt that the underperformance information did not reflect the real Department. Members asked if there was any programme that ensured that the universities in this country increased in their rankings; how one would quantify the impact of the National System of Innovation in terms of meeting the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality; if the Department was making science more inclusive for the historically disadvantaged masses; what sanctions were meted out in terms of institutions that did not make disclosures; if there were mechanisms to track to ensure that there was compliance with the targets set for the Department; the impact if targets were not reached; if the Department was keeping pace with the development of technology like artificial intelligence; what was the progress with engagements with other Departments to ensure growth; and why targets had not been achieved in Programme 2.
The Committee finalised its deliberations on the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Bill [B 6-2017]. All clauses of the Bill were agreed to. The reservations from the DA and EFF were noted.
Department of Science and Technology’s (DST) briefing on the First Quarter Performance and Financial Report (April 2017 to June 2017)
Dr Phil Mjwara, Director General, said the measure of success would be the level to which science, technology and innovation (STI) played a driving role in enhancing productivity; economic growth and socio-economic development.
The DST’s Strategic outcome-orientated goals were:
- A responsive, coordinated and efficient National System of Innovation (NSI)
- Increased knowledge of generation;
- Human capital development;
- Using knowledge for economic development; and Knowledge utilisation for inclusive development
In pursuit of its objectives, the following was reported on progress for on the Development of a New STI White Paper:
- NACI (National Advisory Council on Innovation) conducted environmental scan of the existing policy and performance of the NSI;
- Technical inputs from government department and relevant NSI partners were incorporated into the development of the Draft White Paper;
- Inputs from both critical readers and provisional Socio-Economic Impact Assessment System (SEIAS) certificate were considered; and
- The DST was awaiting the Minister’s inputs on the draft White Paper before presentation to Cabinet.
The Financial Performance Report showed:
Budget R77, 557,229
Planned expenditure R2, 104, 647 (27.8% of the Budget)
Actual expenditure R11, 398,956 (18.5% of the Budget)
Deviation R705, 691 (33.5% of the Budget)
In conclusion Dr Mjwara said that in ensuring that NDP goals were realised, the DST would continue to play a central role in providing SETi initiatives that enhanced socio-economic development. These included amongst others:
- Targeted Human Capital Development initiatives;
- Innovation-support interventions implemented in province or priority district municipalities; and
- Targeted innovations for inclusive development.
The DST continued to strengthen cooperation in STI in Africa, to build capacities and support initiatives of the SADC, AU, and Africa’s growth and the development agenda.
(See attached document DST First Quarter Performance)
Mr N Koornhof (ANC) said when one looked at the underperformance information – the red and yellow markings - he did not think it reflected the real DST. He asked if this were not an archaic way of reporting to the Committee because this did not tell the real story.
The DG replied that one of the things with regard to targets that the Department was reflecting on was based on various levels. Outcome Impact indicators was one of the levels. This was so that by the time the next strategic plan was developed the Department would have perfected this and hopefully engaged with the Auditor General as well so that the Department was not audited in these processes because it was actually difficult to do this, for example, when training students to see what difference it would make on the economy. There were areas where one could measure impact. The other level was on Outputs and this would be in knowledge generation – this was in the known area – like the number of books published where the impact of that work was measured by the impact factors. One could get a sense of where the Department was located with global partners with the institutions that it had. It was also important to know how many students the country had for the system it was producing for the next generation and emerging researchers. This should be focused on in the reports. The Department also reported on more process driven activities and as it refined this process going forward, it may begin to keep less of process indicators and focus more on output indicators and then ultimately on impact indicators. It would go back and focus some more on looking at balancing the indicators.
With regard to the rankings of universities in South Africa, Mr Koornhof asked if there was any programme that ensured that the universities in this country increased in their rankings.
The DG said that as was known the rankings measured different things and on the research side they measured four broad things, one of which was the impact of the publications of researchers. They measured the experience of postgraduate students and the ability to attract postgraduate students from the rest of the world. The reputation as a research destination institution was important so the Department did not work directly with institutions, but through the programmes that it had and hoped to be able to access what it offered as the National System of Innovation through the National Research Foundation (NRF). The Department may wish to engage the NRF to ask if there were any of the instruments that it had that could help more and this conversation could continue.
Mr N Paulse (EFF) asked how one would quantify the impact of the National System of Innovation in terms of meeting the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality; and how would one measure the impact of this innovation.
The DG replied that when the Department started to develop its strategic plan, it made an attempt to look at how the work of the National System of Innovation responded directly to the triple challenges of unemployment, inequality, and poverty; and it developed a slide to show how it contributed directly to those triple challenges with a budget showing how it contributed directly to those. It also counted the number of jobs in the direct programmes that the Department supported. The Department also felt that there were indirect contributions that it could make, like using science and policy to influence how one dealt with the broader problems. The Department was more than happy to share this framework of thinking with the Portfolio Committee. To quantify this at the highest level it did not do this in terms of the numbers, but what it was trying to do was to demonstrate the potential of these initiatives, especially when these initiatives were being expanded.
Mr Paulse said that under the sample programme for performance the Department had spoken of the number of graduates and researchers that were being funded. He asked what were the terms of diversity regarding females and blacks, and if the Department was making science more inclusive for the historically disadvantaged masses.
The DG replied that the detailed numbers were obtained through the partnership with the NRF. The Department’s understanding was that on the number of Masters and PHD students, it seemed a threshold had been reached where though in 2014 and 2015, the number of Black PhD students were just above the number of White students who had PhDs. With regard to researchers, there was an awareness of an aging cohort of established researchers and this had to be replenished, diversification had to happen. The conversation started with the NRF was: ‘what would be the conditionality that should be considered to include to the grant to the established researchers so that they could do a little bit more mentoring of young emerging female researchers and also bring retired professors back to do mentoring’.
Mr Paulse asked what sanctions were meted out in terms of institutions that did not make disclosures, for example on funding.
Ms Kerry Faul, Head: National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO) replied that the reason provided was an operational one, but was quite complex when it came to institutions. So even though a piece of legislation managed this, one still found that most of the institutions did not have the capacity and the financial resources so this was one of the roles of the DST and NIPMO. The DST and NIPMO walked this path together with the Technology Transfer Support Fund. Hence the reason why some institutions did not submit 100% compliance was because they did not have the resources or clearly did not meet their contractual or compliance obligations or by informing the DST that they had nothing. The reality was that a number of qualitative indicators have indicated that the ‘Fees Must Fall’ campaign had a material impact and a lot of the labs closed down, so it meant that research projects were put on hold for a bit and this reporting period covered that major ‘Fees Must Fall’ sector. In addition, those larger institutions were actually seeing a decrease in disclosures and what was called Actionable Disclosures. It was known that the indicator was flawed, but the Department was still looking at it being a meaningful indicator and more in the control of the DST. Having said that, the consequences for those institutions that the DST was funding, was that their money was withheld so that they did not report to DST until they met their contractual obligations.
With regard to support for postgraduate students, the Chairperson asked if there were mechanisms to track to ensure that there was compliance with the targets set for the Department.
Ms C King (DA) was pleased to hear that the Department was continuously working on issues of gender and race, but then it also spoke of the 80% for post graduates for which 55% were women. In Programme 1: Performance, it was stated that one could not specifically predict how many post graduate students there would be in the pipeline. She asked if this was not discrimination against others who could have applied and was why they could not reach the target. Because now people who actually qualified were being pushed out of the system because they did not meet those specific criteria.
The DG said he did not think they were discriminating but the Department had found that it was because it had an abundance of black and women students not tapping into that resource. The reason was that the first generation of postgraduate students found it difficult to do Honours, Masters and PhDs unless they were provided with support. This was not an attempt to discriminate but rather an attempt to say: ‘could we target black and women students and provide them with the necessary support to help them go through the system’. He thought this was what the Ministerial guidelines were saying: “how can we have targeted support’ and ‘how can we deepen and support those students’.
Ms King said the actual expenditure was because the Department could not have the deviation as the NRF wanted to reduce some contracts. She asked what impact that would have on the Department if it did not reach targets; and which type of contracts was the Department considering reducing because that might then work against economic development.
The DG replied the NRF was expected, through an agreement that they had signed with the Minister, to report if this was working and if there were any problems. It should be borne in mind that these were guidelines. They used to have small contracts for transferring money to the NRF. He was told that there were about 50 contracts. All they did was to consolidate them into large line items such as Human Development, Science Machines and Infrastructure so when the Department transferred to the NRF it would be based on those three line items. The Department anticipated making life easier for the NRF and for them. Hence it was about operational efficiency and ease of working rather.
Ms King said there was a 10% reduction in the vacancy rate and according to the budget there were some critical posts that were vacant. She asked if these posts had been filled, or was the Department still keeping to the ratio of the 10%.
The DG replied that the 10% was maintained as the Department had been asked not to employ additional staff and fill those critical posts at the moment. The Department had been informed that National Treasury was re-evaluating that directive and maybe in years to come the Department may be allowed to use money from goods and services to fill some of the positions.
Mr C Mathale (ANC) asked what this country’s response was to artificial intelligence because technology developed very quickly and this country had to be on par with developments so that it did not lack skills as a country to be able to keep up. Was this country positioning itself to try and match what that technology was bringing?
The DG responded that the Department had produced a discussion document explaining what Artificial Intelligence broadly meant and how it had to be approached in South Africa. This was still in the early stages, but the Department had been supporting some of the areas that would converge with the new industrial revolution. It was supportive but it also had a range of areas like robotics and other emerging areas that would form part of the new industrial revolution. The Department had been asked to work with the Department of Telecommunications, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labour in this regard.
The Chairperson asked, in terms of Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre (BIDC) support, how far the Department was with engagements with other departments in supporting and taking over some of the SMME’s to ensure their growth so that they did not remain at incubator level.
The DG replied that the Department was having discussions with the Department of Small Business Development for a fund that would be supporting young high technology start-up companies coming from the work that the Department did. Had started a conversation with a Budget Analyst and it seemed that the Department may have a windfall in this area.
The Chairperson asked why the targets had not been achieved in Programme 2.
Mr Tom Suchanandan, Director: DST, replied that the second target that was not met was the Regulatory Recommendation. The Department served under the GMO Act of the Executive Committee which provided support to it to adopt genetically modified organs, so there were regulatory meetings. One meeting was not attended hence the target was not achieved.
The Chairperson asked what corrective steps had been taken where targets were not achieved.
The DG replied that as an Executive they met every quarter to discuss and gain an understanding of the problem, then when they understood the reason they asked the DDG responsible for that programme to provide a reason and to report on what the corrective measures were. Because they tracked it every quarter, they were able to get a sense of the problems. The Department also had the Internal Audit and therefore in the audit coverage plans for the year they would be doing two things: they looked at providing evidence on performance information whether it was correct, and helped the Department; and looked at corrective measures the Department had to put in place to address the challenges.
Deliberations on the IK Bill [B6-2017]
Dr Rene Osborne-Mullins, Content Advisor, Parliament, asked that the Committee refer to the B-Bill to which amendments had been recommended in the previous week.
Definition of Curator
She referred to the definition of Curator on page 4 in line 44 where the State Law Advisor had recommended that just in terms of drafting it should read ‘means the Curator of indigenous knowledge who is the head’. Stating curator twice would be tautology so a second option was recommended stating that ‘Curator means the head of the registration office of indigenous knowledge, appointed in terms of section 18 of this Act.
The second point recommended by the Department was to check whether the correct part of speech was used regarding the correct use of the word ‘licence’ with a ‘c’ and ‘license’ with an ‘s’. She had checked the Bill and it was only on page 6 under Chapter 3 Clause 5 in lines 40 and 45 where the word ‘license’ was used with an ‘s’.
Dr Barbara Loots, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, said that on the definition of curator, option 2, the definition had to correspond with the content. If one went to Section 18, Clause 18 did not make reference to the ‘head’. It said that ‘the Minister must appoint a suitable qualified person as a Curator of indigenous knowledge’ here there was not a link to the ‘head’. To avoid confusion option 1 was talking to ‘the Curator of indigenous knowledge who is the head and appointed in terms of Section 18’, then one would find a link. Without the full name, one would not find a ‘head’ as there was no mention of the ‘head’. She recommended that for purposes of clarity option 1 would be best because there was a link as it spoke of the name in full of the ‘Curator’.
The Chairperson read option 1 Section 18.
Mr Mathale said that it was correct, it was just that it read the same. He agreed that the Committee should take a submission.
The Committee Secretary, Ms Shanaaz Isaacs, said that from last week’s meeting there were two different ways of capturing what was inserted. She had inserted ‘the curator means the curator of indigenous knowledge who…’ she had retained ‘as’ because she had heard that ‘as’ was changed. Dr Osborne-Mullins had said that ‘as’ had been replaced with ‘is’.
The Chairperson verified that option 1 had been selected.
Dr Osborne-Mullins referred back to point 2 where the correct part of speech was used for the word ‘licence’. The changes occurred on page 6 lines 40 and 45 where the word ‘licenses’ with an ‘s’ would be amended to ‘licences’ with a ‘c’; and also on page 6 further down in line 49, the word ‘license’ with an ‘s’ would be amended to ‘licence’ with a ‘c’.
Definition of industry
Dr Osborne-Mullins said that Chapter 3 on page 7 Clause 7(2) c was the only place in the Bill where the word ‘industry’ was used hence a definition under the ‘Definition’ section was not recommended but rather that a sub-clause 9 be added to this section. The Department was requested to come up with a definition of industry. There was now an addition of sub-clause 9 which would read: ‘for the purposes of sub-section 2(c), industry means any sector of an economy dealing in the commercial use of indigenous knowledge based product services’. This was the definition which the Department had put forward for Members to consider.
The Chairperson said that this should be in the section on definitions as it was not in the body of the Bill.
The State Law Advisor said the reason why the definition was put in this clause was because it was only used here to assist in the interpretation and understanding of ‘industry’ in the context of the Bill. There would be no harm if it were put in the general definition clause, but the technical drafting in norms and standards stated that if a phrase had been used more than once then one should put it under general, but if it was only used once for purposes of clarity then it should put in a separate clause.
She added that in Chapter 4 on page 8, Clause 9, sub-clause 3, the word ‘ownership’ should be changed to ‘custodianship’. Here ‘ownership’ referred specifically to the property of the indigenous knowledge community, whereas ‘custodianship’ applied to the trustee.
Mr Suchanandan, said that ‘ownership’ and ‘custodianship’ would have caused confusion in relation to ‘trustee’. A number of options had been proposed and the most acceptable option was to insert in 9.3: ‘of indigenous communities…’ after ‘property’ and delete sub-section 3.
The Chairperson asked Mr Suchanandan to read this again.
Mr Suchanandan said it would read as follows: ‘indigenous knowledge constitutes property of indigenous communities within the meaning of Section 25 of the Constitution’. Sub-section 3 would be deleted and ‘of indigenous communities…’ in sub-section 2 would be inserted.
The State Law Advisor said the Constitution just stated that property was not limited to land. Therefore the option chosen: ‘indigenous knowledge of a relevant indigenous community vests in the custodianship of the trustee’ was so chosen just as an emphasis. It was however important to understand what the objective of Clause 9 was in general if one looked at it in Chapter 4 of the Bill. It was about the protection of indigenous knowledge. What is it that we want to protect? Clause 9(1) stated: ‘This Act protects registered indigenous knowledge’. She objected to what was put forward because it would create confusion with the meaning in Section 25 of the Constitution.
The Chairperson said she was thinking of ‘ownership’ in terms of property law which was a real right. It would then be like the real right of indigenous knowledge. The one real right was ownership. This was about the real right of indigenous knowledge, so it was fine.
Mr Suchanandan said the Chairperson was correct. The three options mentioned came from the Department. Dr Barbara Loots, the Legal Advisor had recommended option 1 as the more plausible option. The issue was with the word ‘ownership’ and this could create confusion so throughout the text of the Bill, the words ‘owner’ and ‘holder’ were avoided.
Mr Mathale asked, if the subject matter was about protection in clause 9, could one just have ‘this Act protects indigenous knowledge’. He did not know what the two clauses were trying to address.
Ms A Lotriet (DA) did agree that the subject matter was indigenous knowledge, and asked: but surely it was the right of the custodians or owners of indigenous knowledge that had to be protected?
The State Law Advisor said that even if there were no subsection 3, that clause would read better because it protected that knowledge, and just clarified this knowledge by saying that it constituted property within Section 25 of the Constitution.
Ms Sherlene Moonsamy, Director DST agreed with that because of the use of the word ‘register’, hence subsection (c) could be left out.
Dr Osborne-Mullins said the State Law Advisor said that three options were put forward by the Department, but upon discussion with Dr Loots, she looked at what the clause was trying to say and compared it to the Parliament legislation drafting style. She recommended option 1 because it was the most constitutionally sound and protected indigenous knowledge and gave the community the right to their indigenous knowledge, so when one drafted sub-clause 3 it took away the word ‘ownership’ which the Department did not really want to expressly use throughout the Bill.
The option 2 that was referred to stated that the indigenous community owned the indigenous knowledge, but custodianship was vested in the trustee and this was not necessary because Clause 12 sub-clause1 it actually said: ‘Subject to section 9 the custodianship of indigenous knowledge eligible for protection vests in the trustee of that indigenous community’. This would almost seem it was stated twice, hence the Parliamentary Legal Advisor said that this was the most Constitutionally sound option and should be put forward to Members as option 1 especially because it complied with Parliament Legislation drafting style.
Mr Suchanandan wanted to refer to the actual clause that Honourable Members were referring to section 20 sub clause 4.
The Chairperson read the clause: ‘in order to exercise any right in respect of indigenous knowledge under this Act, the indigenous community must register the indigenous knowledge in terms of chapter 6’.
The State Law Advisor said that the clauses referred to when she said sub-clause 3 would not be necessary was clause 3(a) of the Bill which dealt with the objects of the Act; and clause 5(1)(b) which spoke of the functions and powers of NIKSO. The context of sub-clause 3 had already been taken care of. She said that it was important to note that drafters should be working together and it was not nice when one came here and it was said that the State Law Advisor was saying this, and the Parliamentary Law Advisor was saying something else. When one was here, the intention was to serve this Committee to ensure that the end product was of the best quality; and the policy of the Executive had been correctly translated into law.
The Chairperson asked if it was accepted that ‘of indigenous communities’ be inserted in sub-clause 2 and that sub-clause 3 was deleted. It would therefore read: ‘indigenous knowledge constitutes property of the indigenous communities within the meaning of Section 25 of the Constitution’.
This was affirmed and there was agreement to the redrafting of the clause 9.
Here the issue was about the use of the word ‘source’ versus the use of the word ‘origin’
Mr Suchanandan said that at face value the words ‘source’ and ‘origin’ meant the same thing but in the context of the Convention on Biodiversity there were two different and distinct meanings. Hence for consistency sake the word ‘origin’ would be maintained.
Clause 13 subsection 1 would then be ‘subject to subsection 3, the indigenous community holding indigenous knowledge has the exclusive right to (a) any benefits arising from it commercial use, (b) be acknowledged as it origin’
On page 10 under the heading ‘Register of Designation’, clause 16(1), there was a word omitted after NIKSO and it had to read ‘NIKSO must’.
In clause 16(1)(a) after the ‘;’, the word ‘and’ had to be inserted.
Point number 8 was the request to write the full citation for the Public Service Act. On page 10, chapter 6 clause 18(1), after ‘1994’ before the (.), ‘Proclamation No 103 of 1994’ was to be inserted in brackets.
Point number 9 was the request to delete ‘non-commercial research purposes’ from clause 26 sub clause 4(d) on page 12 Chapter 7 in line 32. What was now 4(e) would become 4(d), and 4(f) became 4(e).
Dr Lotriet asked what the rationale for that deletion was.
Mr Suchanandan said the deletion was in order to be consistent with the Nagoya Protocol, which South Africa had ratified in 2013. All research, whether commercial or non-commercial therefore required prior informed consent.
Mr Martin McKay, Special Advisor to the Minister of Science and Technology referred to page 6 Section 5(1) of Chapter 3. He said that there was no Section 5(2) so Section 5(1) was therefore redundant.
The ‘(1)’ were also removed from clauses 28 and 31 on Page 13.
Dr Lotriet referred to Clause 10(2) in Chapter 4 on page 8, under the heading ‘Term of Protection’. She asked if this would be done by the Curator, if it should be specified here or read with further clauses.
Dr Yohah Seleti, Chief Director, IKS, DST, said that the public domain was an automatic mechanism, it could not be declared. It was just that once its use had not met the criteria then anyone could use it. But if it was specified then it would be the business of the Curator and then there would also have to be proof. This created a lot of cumbersome work for the role of the Curator.
Dr Lotriet asked that in the case of litigation, surely it had to say somewhere in the Act who determined whether something met the criteria or not because the criteria was very vague and one did not have the specific time frames in terms of 20 years or 50 years. It had to meet those three criteria in Clause 11.
Mr Suchanandan said with regard to time frames, section 26(3) had time frames of 20 and 50 years. Time frames were not linked to criteria, they were linked to the duration of protection.
Dr Lotriet said that she was just really concerned because what if it just said that something ceased to meet the illegibility criteria, without saying who determined if it had or had not been developed. Someone might try to make a case that illegibility had ceased.
Ms Moonsamy replied that the person who wanted the consent would have to prove whether the criteria had been met.
Dr Lotriet asked who determined what was developed.
Mr Suchanandan said Clause 20 sub clause 2(c) addressed the concern.
Dr Lotriet said she was actually asking about what happened after registration ceases to be eligible.
The Chairperson said that it would be rejected after registration.
Dr Lotriet said the Curator would then have to go and look to see whether it still complied.
For further clarity, she read sub clause 13(1)(a) from Chapter 4 on page 8. She asked what happened given that there was the IPLA Act as well. There was this licence or agreement, and a person wanted to register a patent on it; this would then be an additional agreement. How would this agreement look between the original agreement between the licence holder and the trustee because one could not perhaps foresee that there would be a patent or copyright? How would this work?
Dr Seleti replied that the benefit sharing agreement was relevant to three instruments. In this case a process had already been started at the one-stop shop where the permits for accessing the resources; and the benefit sharing agreement would be done from one office because they would be lodged at one office.
Mr Suchanandan said the Licencing Agreement and the Patent were two separate documents. The Patent was to register the right. The Licencing Agreement was to further commercialise the product. The general trend with indigenous knowledge was a non-exclusive right. Therefore, in terms of the licence and the patent, the ownership within the patent was negotiable like for example whether the community could have 50% of the right to the patent or not. The licencing was where the royalties came into play.
The Chairperson put the Bill itself to the Committee, going through all the Chapters.
The State Law Advisor on a matter of clarity asked about the proposed changes to clause 24 on the amendment of register. She could not find any provision for the publication of the register.
The Chairperson said that if it was public, then it was open.
Dr Lotriet said that she had referred to Clause 20 sub clause 3b, and wanted to know how change would be dealt with.
Mr Suchananan replied that bulletins were always updated.
Dr Lotriet said that although all the clauses had been gone through, and most of the issues had been dealt with, she would first have to put it to her Caucus before they (her party) could approve the Bill. They (her party) reserved their opinion on it for now.
Mr Mathale as the ANC said they adopted the Bill as presented.
Honourable Tuck seconded.
Committee Report on the Bill
The Committee Secretary read the following:
The Report of the Portfolio Committee Science and Technology on the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of the Indigenous Knowledge Bill [B 6- 2017] dated 13 September 2017, the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology having considered the subject of the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Bill [B6-2017] National Assembly Section 76 refer to it and classify the joint tagging mechanism as this Section 76 Bill, present a redraft of the Bill B6 B 27C.
The Secretary explained that this was the short version and there was agreement to put down a few points just to capture the process the Committee followed. She continued with the report:
On 12 April 2016 the Minister of Science and Technology introduced the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Bill to the National Assembly. The Bill was referred to the joint tagging mechanism on 25 May 2016. The later ATC reflected the JTM in terms of joint rule 166. The Bill was classified as a Section 76 Bill. The Secretary to Parliament referred the Bill for comment to the National House of Traditional Leaders on 2 June 2016 as the Bill falls within the ambit of the Section 18(1) of the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act. The input of the National House of Traditional Leaders was received on 27 June 2016. Due to the extended Parliament recess to accommodate the political programme for local government elections, the Committee commends its deliberation on the IK Bill during the Third and Fourth Parliamentary terms of 2016. On 17 August 2016 the Committee held a joint workshop with the Select Committee on Communications and Public Enterprises to consider the global and national context, as well as the Department’s development on the IK Programme.
The Committee undertook to explore possible complimentary or conflicting prescripts within the existing legislation, or in legislation that was being considered by other government departments at the time. The departments who presented to the Committee were the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Companies Intellectual Properties Commission. The DTI briefed the Committee on Intellectual Property Intellectual Property Consultative Framework. The DAFF briefed the Committee on the Plant Improvement Breeders Rights Bill.
On 31 August 2016 the Committee had further briefings with the Department of Environmental Affairs who briefed the Committee on NEMA and the Department of Health briefed the Committee on the Traditional Health Practitioners Act. On 7 September 2016 the Committee invited Intellectual Property Legal and academic experts as well as representative of the traditional leadership to input and comment on the Bill.
From 14 to 16 September the Committee visited Gauteng and North West province. This was in order to have a workshop with the DST and a selected group of experts, traditional leaders and holders of indigenous knowledge on the Bill. The programme further included a visit to the Council of Industrial and Scientific Researchers MERAKA institute where the National Recordal system was located. a further visit was organised to the community for engagement on the documentation for IK communities.
On 26 October 2016 the Committee was briefed by the Department of Arts and Culture. On 2 November 2016 the committee was briefed by the Office of the State Law Advisor on legal drafting with specific reference to the IK Bill. On 27 November 2016 the Committee moved for public comment on the Bill. Based on the written responses received from the public the hearing was held at Parliament.
On 27 March 2017 the Committee undertook oversight visits to KwaZulu-Natal and Oudshoorn with the primary focus on IK.
After extensive deliberation the Committee decided to present a redraft of the Bill. All clauses of the Bill were agreed to. The reservations from the DA and EFF were noted.
The Chairperson said that this was the draft report.
Mr Koornhof proposed the adoption of the report with amendments.
Ms Ndongeni seconded
The Chairperson thanked all the Members for their efforts in driving all the processes through the development of the Bill, right up to this stage. Thanked the Office of the Minister for their positive contributions towards the enrichment of the Bill. The team led by Dr Seleti were also thanked for all their efforts even before the Bill was brought to the Committee and helping to enrich the Committees understanding of what the Bill really entailed. The Legal Advisor Ms Barbra Loots and the Content Advisor were also thanked. This process has also opened her eyes to things that she did not even think was indigenous knowledge. The Minister and the DG were also thanked.
The meeting was adjourned.
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