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SELECT COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND RECREATION
5 August 2003
PANSALB SUBMISSION ON THE PROPOSED SOUTH AFRICAN LANGUAGES BILL; ADOPTION OF THE NATURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS BILL [B56B-2002]
Chairperson: Mr. Kgware
Documents Handed out:
Natural Scientific Professions Bill [B56B - 2002]
The Pan South African Language Board (PANSALB) presented the perceived pros and cons of the proposed SA Languages Bill and emphasised that the Bill needed to clearly delineate the functions and powers of PANSALB. The Natural Scientific Professions Bill was unanimously adopted as amended after the SA Police Services (SAPS) had outlined the application of forensic services to criminal investigations.
Professor Moleleki, chairperson of PANSALB, presented the Board's interpretation of the final draft of the proposed SA Languages Bill. He said PANSALB agreed with the Bill preamble's reference to sections 6 and 30 of the Constitution, and welcomed the Bill's clear application to the state and public institutions.
He added that PANSALB was not happy about three points. Firstly, they considered that Section 5C should not provide for the Minister's consideration of exemption and inclusion mechanisms for organisations, but rather spell out such mechanisms in the Bill. Secondly, the Bill should clearly articulate enforcement institutions such as courts in cases of language rights infringements. Thirdly, the Bill should clearly articulate the mediation role of PANSALB in its section on the powers and functions of language units.
Mr Bhengu (IFP) said that the PANSALB and the Ministry needed to discuss how the role of PANSALB should fit into the proposed Bill. Prof. Moleleki agreed.
Ms Khunou (ANC) asked what the courts had to do with language policy. Prof. Moleleki responded that courts should deal with disputes regarding the infringement of language rights.
Mr. Van Niekerk (NNP) asked if PANSALB was happy with the powers provided by the proposed Bill. Prof. Moleleki said PANSALB was not pleased because the organisation had no enforcement powers under this Bill.
Mr. Van Niekerk (NNP) asked if the costing of the Bill influenced its foreseen implementation. Prof. Moleleki answered that the proposed Bill was a compromise purely guided by costing.
Prof. Ndabandaba asked what could be done to remedy the lack of Zulu instruction in ex-model C schools in KwaZulu-Natal. Prof. Moleleki answered that the survey had showed that Zulu parents preferred English instruction because of their own disadvantaging experiences if they did not understand English. He emphasised that other SA languages should also be elevated as languages of privilege. Mr Van Niekerk (NNP) added that English was used as a language of privilege in Parliament and that it was time to enforce language rights.
Mr. Bhengu (IFP) asked if PANSALB interacted with provincial governments. Prof. Moleleki said there had been no interaction thus far and none was anticipated until the enaction of the language Bill.
ADOPTION OF THE NATURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS BILL
Commissioner Keith Morris presented on the role of forensic services in SAPS investigations and the resulting evidence interpreted in courts. He also discussed some examples of forensic procedures as background to the amendment of clause 43 of the Natural Scientific Professions Bill. Clause 43 had previously stated that the Bill applied to the State. The amendment reads "CLAUSE 43 on page 16, in line 15, after "State" to insert: except in so far as the State provides forensic science services". This implies that the Bill exempts the state with regard to forensic services.
The committee unanimously agreed to the amendment and the Chairperson then signed the motion of desirability.
The Chairperson and the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Sonjica, thanked everyone who participated in the drafting of the Bill. The meeting was adjourned.
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