The Committee considered and approved the NCOP amendments to the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Bill. The changes were largely technical in nature and not substantive. The bill was thereafter approved and referred to the House for consideration.
Members were informed that the Committee will be processing the Science and Technologies Amendment Bill for the remainder of the term.
The Chairperson welcomed everyone back and hoped that Members enjoyed the time they had with their families.
The Chairperson also wished party representatives well and hoped that they would be elected again. She acknowledged that the Committee had done well and was able to work together. It was able to debate on a range of issues and come to a conclusion. She also thanked the Committee for their effort.
The Chairperson said that the meeting was going to be short as they are not discussing something new but will be discussing the amendment that came from the NCOP. She said that when they did the finalisation of the Bill, the printing went ahead of them and the amendments agreed upon were not factored in and it went back to the NCOP in that way.
The Chairperson said that Dr Barbara Loots, Parliamentary Legal Advisor, will take them through the amendments that came back to the committee.
NCOP Amendments to Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Bill
Dr Loots introduced herself and wished everyone a good 2019.
She said that the Chairperson did her job for her by explaining that in the last meeting, where the committee sat for the Bill, little technical changes were adopted. For example, the word license was initially spelt with an‘s’ and later changed to a ‘c’. All those things were cleared up. She also said that everyone was so excited about the Bill that the printing went ahead and the changes were not reflected in the copy sent to the NCOP. They realised it was nothing substantive that had to be changed but for the little small changes that had to be reconfirmed.
The provinces came back reconfirming that the substance of this Bill aligns with the position taken by the Portfolio Committee. With the mandates confirming those and technical changes reflected, it is really the small things like after ‘knowledge’ to insert a comma or the issue with the word ‘license’ and to put ‘and’ after the semi -colon. Other changes included inserting the word ‘proclamation’ after 1994. Nothing in the C list is changing any substance of what the Committee did on the policy and principles as reflected in the original B Bill. The D bill is basically a clean-up and confirmation that the NCOP supports the perspective as it is currently.
She then said to the Chairperson if through her or with her permission, the Committee can confirm the C list and D list.
The Chairperson recognised Mr N Koornhof (ANC).
Mr Koornhof referred to clause 7 and asked why it was necessary to insert paragraph 9. He said that he had two further questions. He referred to clause 9 on page 8, line 7 and asked why it was necessary to omit sub clause 3, he wanted reasons for that. He also asked about clause 26 on page 12, line 32 and asked why the Department is deleting ‘non-commercial research purposes’.
The Chairperson asked if there are any other matters the members wanted to raise.
On clause 7, Dr Loots explained that this provision, which now reads: “For the purpose of subsection (2)(c), ‘‘industry’’ means any sector of an economy dealing in the commercial use of indigenous knowledge based products and services”, came about during the deliberations from one of the Members.
Concerning clause 9, Dr Loots recalled that subclause 3 had previously stated: the ownership of indigenous knowledge as property vests in the relevant indigenous community. This point was captured in subclauses 1 and 2 and so it became redundant to include subclause 3.
Mr Tom Suchanandan, Director: Advocacy and Policy Development, DST, clarified that ‘non-commercial research purposes’ was deleted in clause 26 because it was in conflict various prescripts and instruments which South Africa had ratified.
The Chairperson asked if there is any other matter to be discussed.
No further questions were raised.
Committee Report on Bill
The Chairperson read out the Committee Report.
The report stated that: the Portfolio Committee of Science and Technology having considered the subject of Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Bill [B 6D-2016] amended by the National Council of Provinces and referred to the Committee, reports that it has agreed to the Bill and that the report be considered.
The Chairperson asked for somebody to move for the adoption of the amendment.
The Chairperson recognised Mr Koornhof who formally moved for the adoption and was seconded by Mr M Kekana (ANC).
The Chairperson welcomed Honourable A Tuck (ANC) who had just entered the venue.
She thanked Dr Yonah Seleti, Chief Director of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (DST), and his team and said it was an exciting experience.
She said that the team worked well with the Committee and was there from the beginning to the end. She said the Department was engaging and provided clarification. The Department’s engagement and clarification made them experts on the Bill itself. The Committee became confident to explain to the public the purpose of the Bill. Even upon receiving emails, they could confidently respond to the public on some of the details of the Bill. She then thanked Honourable Members for ensuring that the amendments of the Bill came to a finality and thanked them for their insights.
The Chairperson thanked Dr Loots for the legal advice and for being part of the team. The Chairperson thanked Dr Lynne Osbourne for being part of the team that worked on the Bill. She also thanked Ms Shanaaz Isaacs for ensuring that they finalise the bill.
The Chairperson said to Dr Loots and Dr Seleti that they may say something and are free to leave thereafter.
Dr Seleti said that to return the goodwill and thanksgiving, he thinks that the Department was able to serve the Committee due to the Chairperson’s clear leadership. The Committee was one of the rare Committees that worked together, making proposals from all the parties. He further said that the Department has the regulations ready and will be waiting for the signatures and will return it as the Department does not want the Bill to be parked. He thanked the Chairperson for the participation in the activities at the DST conferences and felt supported in activities that have been carried on. The Department will continue to extend invitations to the Committee
The Chairperson thanked DST once again and dismissed them.
The Chairperson then asked the Committee Secretary to take the Committee through the first term programme.
The Committee Secretary stated said that there is only one item on the programme. The Committee has been referred the Science and Technologies Amendment Bill which is stretched for the next four weeks.
There had been no input or submissions in response to the Committee’s advert. This meant that the Committee could finish processing it earlier. The Committee will know by Friday whether it will finish it in the next few weeks.
The Chairperson thanked the Honourable Members and wished them a blessed day.
The meeting was adjourned.
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