A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
ARTS, CULTURE, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE Ms M Njobe (ANC)
17 June 2003
ARTS & CULTURE TASK TEAM ANNUAL REPORT; COMMITTEE BUDGET; NATURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS BILL; VISITS TO PROVINCES: DISCUSSION
Documents handed out:
Department of Arts and Culture Task Team Annual Report (Appendix 1)
ARTS, CULTURE, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
Ms M Njobe (ANC)
Natural Scientific Professions Bill [B56B-2002]
Natural Scientific Professions Bill Correspondence from South African Police Services (Appendix 2)
The Department of Arts and Culture Task Team Annual Report, Committee Budget, Natural Scientific Bill, Visits to the Provinces and various outstanding Committee issues were discussed by the Committee.
The Department of Arts and Culture cancelled the briefing on Friday 13 June 2003.The Committee strongly expressed their concerns about the cancellation. A meeting with a different agenda took place.
The Chairperson expressed her disappointment at the Department of Arts and Culture's second cancellation. The Committee was in agreement that the fact that the briefing director was in London was not a valid excuse given that the department had been given five months prior notice about this briefing. It was also the Committee's opinion that the department should not be relying on one person, but should have rather delegated the briefing responsibility to somebody else. Late notifications hampered the Committees efforts to rearrange the already tight parliamentary programmes.
Due to the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) last minute cancellation the agenda had to be changed from a briefing on international Network on Cultural Policy, and Discussion & Policy analysis of the Department of Arts and Culture, to the Committee's discussion on outstanding Committee issues:
- Department of Arts & Culture Task Team Annual Report (see Appendix)
- Committee Budget
-Natural Scientific Professions Bill Correspondence from South African Police Services
-Visit to Provinces.
The absence of members on the task team that was meant to compile the Science and Technology annual Report prevented the Committee from obtaining a progress report.
It was mentioned that the Committee Budget for 2004 to 2005 should be looked at again.
Members were informed that the Natural Scientific Professions Bill had been directed to the NCOP and had been passed without amendments. However the Committee was requested to familiarise themselves with the Bill as there had already been concern expressed by a clause of the Bill, as it was certain to come before the Committee.
The Committee planned to conduct oversight Provincial visits from 28 June to 1 August 2003. It was envisaged that two delegations would be sent. One delegation would be sent to Gauteng and Mpumalanga and the other to Eastern Cape and Kwazulu Natal.
The Chairperson expressed her concerns and disappointment that the newly appointed Director General of Arts and Culture had still not found the opportunity to introduce himself to the Portfolio Committee.
The Chairperson urged members to read the circulated Arts and Culture Task Team Annual Report. She was concerned that the report was merely a summary of the departments briefings as against the document providing a critical analysis and report of the briefings and a reflective measure of whether what was presented at briefings was actually effectively happening.
Ms N Tsheole (ANC) suggested that amongst matters raised on the report it would be of benefit if the committee could look at whether the department's budget could be analysed better so that the Portfolio's could see if the department has gone along with the budget.
Ms A Van Wyk (NNP) said that she was unhappy with the Minister's commitment to the heritage sector of Arts and Culture. She was upset that there was no white paper that specified the role of the Department of Arts and Culture. There was no proper policy or management in place to monitor this very vast field, yet there were specialised bodies and organisations that could be of assistance. The Portfolio Committee was not empowered to assist because of the complexity of a lot of the specialised fields, and neither were they in a position to make input to the Government or confront them with serious issues.
Ms N Tsheole (ANC) felt that evaluating the annual report would be a massive task for the Committee and they could not call outsiders; but could consider calling in subsidiaries that they funded or a researcher to do it. She disagreed that there was no policy in place. She insisted that policy was in existence, but because it was drafted in 1995/96 and policy evolved, gaps could be identified.
Mr S Opperman (DP) suggested that for assistance the Committee could look at drawing from a combination of researchers and funded subsidiaries.
Ms A Van Wyk (NNP) said that there were serious problematic issues highlighted in the media and in publications. She explained that she was not suggesting that they have public hearings, but did feel that they needed a researcher in any event. She maintained that there was no over arching policy for heritage relating to planning and SAHRA (South African Heritage Resource Agency )had no directive policy, but rather patchwork policy.
Dr A Luthuli suggested that perhaps the problem lay in the implementation or lack of implementation of the policy.
The Chairperson pointed out that the discussion and Policy analysis with DAC had been on this meeting's original agenda. According to the Portfolio Committee's progamme, DAC was scheduled to brief them on Heritage Sustainability and SAHRA ; and suggested that members could come up with information so that questions could be raised clearly.
Ms A Van Wyk (NNP) said that the Minister had acted unlawfully with the appointment of the National Arts Council. She explained that procedurally the out going board elects three members, and that the Minister was expected to appoint one of the three; of which he did not. She added that the appointed person had a criminal record. Even with the Museum Council the Minister did not inform the Portfolio Committee who the new councilors were, and yet the announcement had been made public. She was concerned that the top structure of DAC was occupied by three males.
Ms N Njobe (ANC) said she did not have this information, but the Committee participated in the interviews. They felt they needed to clarify their role when it came to final selection. She also cautioned that the serious allegation ought to be on paper.
The meeting was adjourned.
ARTS & CULTURE TASK TEAM ANNUAL REPORT
Convenor Ms Tshivhase IJ
The Objective of the Mission:
The main objective of the Department of Arts and Culture is to promote and achieve national objectives. Namely to improve and sustain the quality of life of all South Africans. To develop human resources for Arts and culture. To build economy and strengthen the country's competitiveness in the international sphere.
The mission will serve as an instrumental in alleviation of poverty through the creation of job opportunities in the area such as crafts, films, music, marketing and funding of projects.
Jt will be part of strategy of branding the country as a sought-after tourism destination because of its heritage sites, museums and monuments. Be the integral to the programmes and designed to achieve the aims of NEPAD; increase the role of governance through the process of provincialisation of the archival function.
The Department however has its own budget.
Programme 2 : Arts, Culture and Language in Society
This programme focuses on stimulating, nurturing and protecting South African Arts and
Culture as well as amongst other institutional capacity, gender policies, moral regeneration
and linguistic diversity.
Expenditure on this programme did not show dramatic growth until 2002/3. This programme reflect an average increase of 8,2%.
The increase is nevertheless smaller than that of the other three departmental programmes. Transfer payments to Pansalb and the National Arts Council and playhouses are the main contributors to expenditure on this programme. There are two new transfer payments to orchestras, which is the Cape Philharmonic and the Gauteng orchestras.
Programme 3 : Cultural Development International Relations
This program focuses on the promotion of the cultural diversity and cultural industries of South Africa as well as the promotion of cultural relations internationally.
More money was allocated for funding in support of cultural industries and the celbration of Freedom Day in 2004 internationally.
There will be a decrease of expenditure in this programme in 2004/05 because the special allocation for poverty relief has not been finalized. It is not possible to analyse expenditure trends on this programme since this programme is new.
Programme 4 :Heritage, National Archives and National Library Services
This programme sustains and develops the heritage archives and information institutions of South Africa in order to ensure good governance, transformation of these institutions and access to these resources for all. Libraries should be promoted.
The programme has increased over the three years to 2002/03, allocations grew by almost
30% over the medium, the growth resulted of Freedom Park and for infrastructure
Research on Development (R&D) : Poverty Relief
The Department's poverty relief initiatives span craft industries and technology based small enterprises and embrace the use of resources such as natural fibres for papermaking and textiles. The intention is that these enterprises become sustainable and continue to create expanding employment through training, adoption of effective technologies, effective market development strategies.
Culture and Performing Arts' Challenge:
The Department has been criticized for spending too little on the performing arts for allowing orchestras to go to the wall and for neglecting the classics. Hence the rise over the past few years by 25%. R102m has been allocated for arts and culture for 2002/03 financial year. R17m allocated for the transformation of heritage institutions. Therefore the performers need to be assisted for the reason of sustainability. The Task Team suggested that the performers be called and address the Portfolio Committee about their frustrations, and will be advised about their management as well.
Equity in Arts Funding:
The Department reported that it is involved in bringing equity into arts funding. R10m was allocated to performing Arts Companies and Orchestras. The Department is determined to grow the size of this funding.
The Department is finalizing a National Language Policy that was carefully developed and tested with all stakeholders. The Department in partnership with other departments of Labour embarked on a R180 m for skills training programme for the creative industries, including crafts, film, music and live events over the next three years.
Language in society need serious research regarding the usage of it in the institutions, public and in private sectors eg. in aeroplanes, trains and even in Parliament. The historically previously marginalized languages need to be developed regarding dictionary units eg. Tshivends, Isindebele, Isiswati, Tsonga etc. the Department need to look at the cost effectiveness as well. The Pan SALB programme to develop dictionaries in all languages including the Khoisan etc.
Telephone interpreting services for South Africa to enable South Africans to obtain key emergency service advice (eg.from Police Service) in their own languages. Human Language Technologies programme using new software being developed in South Africa and elsewhere to develop word processors, spell-checkers in South African languages to produce automatic translation and voice recognition software.
Progress has been made. A new National Coat of Arms has been adopted and more recently a new set of national orders.
There is development of the Music Industry. The Investing in Culture Poverty Alleviation Programme contributed in small ways to the development of emerging musicians eg. in Durban, Cape Town and Limpopo etc. suggested that venues have to be created for such musicians for the rural musicians to have opportunities to perform through Music in Public Places by DACST. Their training should be free.
This report was compiled by the Arts and Culture Task Team.
SAPS REPRESENTATIONS : NATURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS BILL [B56B -2002]
The South African Police Service kindly request the Education and Recreation Select Committee to give the Service an opportunity to address the Committee on the impact of the Natural Scientific Professions Bill [B56B - 2002]. The concerns expressed in this document have, in principle been discussed with and conveyed to Prof. Marais, who is currently on the Council for the Natural Scientists, during March 2003.
The impact on the Forensic Science Laboratory of the South African Police Service are as follows:
The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) of the South African Police Service (SAPS) provides a forensic science service to the Detectives of the SAPS. The disciplines of the FSL include chemistry, biology, questioned documents, metallurgy, electronics and geology. The Criminal Record Centre (CRC)/Local Criminal Record Centres (LCRC) are responsible for the collection and examination of evidential material for fingerprints. At the FSL, evidential material is examined by a number of scientific processes and various deductions can be made from the results of such analyses. Each scientist/analyst/examiner then issues a sworn affidavit in terms of section 212 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No 51 of 1977). These affidavits comply with the standard requirements of an affidavit. This can be summed up that the deponent has personal knowledge of the contents of the affidavit and understands those contents.
Forensic Science (See Schedule 1)
A definition of forensic science is a problematic issue. In general, the definition would be the provision of scientific evidence to courts of law. The following is an extract from the introduction of the "Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences" (J A Siegel, editor in Chief, Academic Press, 2000):
"There are those who say that there really is no such thing as 'forensic science'; that instead, it is a collection of scientific techniques that are begged and borrowed from 'real' sciences such as chemistry, biology, physics, medicine and mathematics. Other have suggested that the 'sciences' of fingerprints, firearms and toolmarks and questioned documents are the only real forensic sciences, and all the rest of it are on loan from the classical hard sciences. There is some truth to both of these definitions."
It will be proposed that forensic science for the purposes of the Bill is defined as:
"the application of scientific principles to physical evidence for the purposes of the administration of justice in the fields as defined in section 212(4)(a) of the Criminal Procedure Act (Act 51 of 1977)"
These fields are:.
- applied mathematics
- mathematical statistics
- analysis of statistics
- computer science
- any discipline of engineering
- human behavioural sciences
- any branch of pathology
- identification of finger prints or palm-prints
- examination of disputed documents
Some of the requirements of the Natural Scientific Professions Bill [B56B-2002] which impact on the FSL are as follows:
3.1 Clause 18 page 7 line 54 and page 8 line 1-2:
(2) A person may not practise in any of the fields of practice listed in Schedule I, unless he or she is registered in a category mentioned in subsection (1)."
3.2 Clause 19 page 8 line 3-4
"Fields of practice in natural scientific professions
19. (1) The fields of practice in the natural sciences are listed in Schedule I."
3.3 Schedule 1 page 17:
FIELDS OF PRACTICE
Mathematics Education Science
Water Care Science
3.4 Clause 20 page 8 line 12:
20. (1) Only a registered person may practice in a consulting capacity."
3.5 Clause 22 page 9 line 30-32 - :
(2) A certificated natural scientist or candidate natural scientist (a) may only perform work in the natural scientific professions under the supervision and control of a professional natural scientist;
3.6 Clause 27 page 10 line 41 -43:
(3) A person who is not registered in terms of this Act, may not-
- perform any kind of work identified for any category of registered persons in terms of this section;
3.7 Clause 27 page 10 line 50 - 54:
(4) Subsection (3)(a) may not be construed as prohibiting any person from performing work identified in terms of this section, if such work is performed in the service of or by order of and under the direction, control, supervision of or in association with a registered person entitled to perform the identified work and who must assume responsibility for any work so performed."
3.8 Clause 43 page 16 line 15:
43. This Act binds the State. "
- The educational qualifications for registration under this Bill are unclear. It has been stated during the consultation with Professor Marais that a person will require a four year tertiary qualification to be registered as a professional natural scientist. If a person possesses a three year tertiary qualification then they could register either as a candidate natural scientist (if undergoing relevant further studies) or as certificated natural scientist (clause 18 and 20).
- A requirement of clause 22 is that a certificated natural scientist or candidate natural scientist may only perform work in the natural scientific professions under the supervision and control of a professional natural scientist.
- The FSL employs a large number of scientists. This includes persons with three year, four year and further qualifications. It also has a large number of persons who do not have any tertiary qualification and yet perform scientific examinations and also present expert evidence in court in this regard. Areas specifically affected by this are the ballistics, questioned document and finger prints. In these disciplines there are no tertiary qualifications available at any tertiary institution in South Africa. These disciplines fall squarely within the defined field of practice : Forensic Science (Schedule 1) (See also par 2).
- The impact of clause 22 is that the examiners in these areas would have to work under the "supervision and control" of a professional registered scientist who is not qualified within these fields. The examiner himself would have to issue the report in terms of section 212 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No 51 of 1977), but clause 18(2) of the Bill states that a person may not practise in any of the fields of practice listed in Schedule I, unless he or she is registered in a category mentioned in clause 18(1). Equally, clause 27(4) states that although clause (27)(3)(a) must not be construed as prohibiting any person from performing work identified in terms of the clause. If, however, such work is performed in the service of or by order of and under the direction, control, supervision of or in association with a registered person entitled to perform the identified work and who must assume responsibility for any work so performed. The assumption of such responsibility will definitely be at odds for the issuing of a section 212 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No 51 of 1977) statement.
- The Forensic Science Laboratory consists of a main Laboratory in Pretoria and three regional Laboratories in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Amanzimtoti. The FSL is also responsible for administration of the Explosives act and Bomb Disposal via the Explosives Unit.
The main units of the FSL are the Ballistics, Questioned Documents, Biology, Scientific Analysis and Chemistry Units. The Laboratory receives more than 130000 casework entries per annum and these cover exhibit types such as firearms, counterfeit notes, drugs, body fluids (for DNA analysis), fibres and precious metals. There are other functions such as photography, facial reconstruction, polygraph examinations and voice comparisons.
The scientists attached to the FSL are exposed to various training programs. The nature of duration of these programs are determined by the field in which they specialise. The programs can range from 6 months to 3 years. Upon completion of training they all need to successfully complete a relevant competency test before they can be authorised to commence casework.
- The final implication of this would be the inability of any person to practice in these fields. The impact of this in the Justice system will be catastrophic.
- A similar situation exists for scientists with a three year qualifications such as a chemist see par 6.
- The implementation of this Bill would result in the near closure of the FSL with the accompanying ramifications.
- There would also be the resultant financial expense for the state since all scientists would have to be registered and the costs covered by the state.
- The only suitable recommendation, in view of the minutes of the Portfolio Committee which was addressed by Prof Crewe on 25 February 2003, is to register professionals who wish to practise in the private sector and to exclude persons in the public sector from this Bill and make it not applicable to FSL & CRC/LCRC of the SAPS.
- The following amendment to the Bill is suggested:
On page 16 line 15 to omit "this Act binds the State" and substitute it with:
"This Act does not bind professionals in the public sector"
15. Profiles of what is expected of members working in the Ballistic Unit as well as the Questionable Document Unit is attached as support for the abovementioned representation.
16. It is trusted that this urgent request will meet your favourable consideration.
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