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SELECT COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND RECREATION
10 June 2003
NATURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS BILL: BRIEFING & ADOPTION
Chairperson: Mr. D Kgware (ANC) [Northern Cape]
Documents handed out
Natural Scientific Professions Bill [B56-2002]
Natural Scientific Professions Bill [B56B-2002]
Natural Scientific Professions Bill[B56A-2002]
Briefing on Bill by Department of Science and Technology
The Committee was impressed with the clarity of the presentation delivered by the Department of Science and Technology on the Bill, as amended by the Portfolio Committee on Education. Members recommended that the Department should clearly enshrine equity matters in Bills rather than take for granted that they are requirements in the Constitution and other pieces of legislation.
The Bill was unanimously adopted without amendment.
Briefing on the Bill by Department of Science and Technology
Ms Lucen, Manager: Institutional Performance Management, Department of Science and Technology, conducted the presentation (document attached), which outlines the background, objectives and salient aspects of the Bill. These include registration into the profession, funding, voluntary association and governance.
The Chair noted that he had already read through the Bill and he was satisfied with the content.
Ms C Nkuna (ANC) [Limpopo] asked how the racial imbalances in the Council would be addressed if the majority of Council members had to be professionals. This would be a disadvantage for black people, as many are not professionals.
Ms Lucen agreed with Ms Nkuna's concern. However, some nominations for the Council would be from members of the public.
Ms Nkuna asked what the Department was doing to avoid the exclusion of professional and non-professional science students from their studies because they do not have the necessary finances.
Ms Lucen explained that the Council had powers to exempt some students from paying fees. She emphasised that such exemptions were considered in exceptional cases only.
Mr N Raju (DA) [Kwazulu-Natal] asked if the Bill considered accommodating people who do have prior experience in science, but do not have the required qualifications.
Ms Lucen replied that Clause 20 recognises persons with prior experience but who do not have the necessary qualifications.
Rev M Chabaku (ANC) [Free State] complimented the presenter for the simplicity of the presentation. She suggested that the Bill should overtly enshrine gender equity, as well as equity in general.
The Chair stated that age equity should also be considered so that the older and more experienced generation could pass their skills to the younger and less experienced ones.
Rev Chabaku suggested that the Department should try and encourage the study of science amongst the public.
Ms Lucen replied that she hoped the Education and Training Fund would be able to fund further training for new science students, as well as those continuing their science studies.
The Chair went through each clause of the Bill and noted that the Committee agreed to them all. He then read the Motion of Desirability, to which the Committee also agreed. The Committee unanimously endorsed the Bill.
After dealing with a few notices, the meeting was adjourned.
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