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SOCIAL SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
28 February 2000
CONSIDERATION OF FINAL MANDATES
Documents handed out:
Chiropractors, Homeopaths and Allied Health Service Professions Amendment Bill: Summary (See Appendix 1)
Chiropractors, Homeopaths & Allied Health Service Professions Amendment Bill
Chairperson: Ms L Jacobus
All the provinces, except Kwazulu-Natal and Eastern Cape, had forwarded their written voting mandates to the Committee in support of the Bill. The Bill was passed since more than five written mandates had been received. Formal mandates are awaited from Kwazulu-Natal and Eastern Cape although their delegates gave a verbal indication that their provinces supported the Bill.
Professor R Gumbi, Human Resources Director: Department of Health, gave a summary of the proposed Bill (see Appendix 1).
The Chairperson pointed out that Professor Gumbi has appeared before the Committee on several occasions. It was agreed that the Committee has exhausted any questions it might have had on the subject.
The Final Mandates
The Chairperson proceeded to read each clause of the Bill and each provincial representative indicated agreement to each of them.
The written mandates from Gauteng (supporting the Bill provided it has no constitutional implications), Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Northern Province and Western Cape supported the Bill and these were circulated amongst the members. The Chairperson noted that Northern Province was not present but their written mandate was before the Committee.
The Chairperson stated that KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape's written mandates were still outstanding, though she had received verbal indication from their respective delegates that these provinces support the Bill. (She pointed out that it is preferred that their written mandates are received and their delegates will be notified thereof). The Chairperson stated that since written mandates of more than five provinces were before the Committee, they could proceed.
The Chairperson then moved on to the motion of desirability to which the representatives agreed. It was decided that no debate would be engaged in when the report is tabled.
Chiropractors, Homeopaths and Allied Health Service Professions Amendment Bill
In February 1996 the Chiropractors, Homeopaths and Allied Health Service
Professions Interim Council ("Interim Council") was established to replace
the old Chiropractors, Homeopaths and Allied Health Service Professions
The main objective of the Interim Council is to make recommendations to the Minister of Health on the constitution of a new permanent council still to be established. However, the term of office of the Interim Council expired on 12 February 1999 before the permanent Council could be established. Because there was no permanent council at the time of the expiry of the term of office of the Interim Council, the latter had to continue to exist to regulate the day to day activities of the relevant professions.
The draft Bill seeks to extend the term of office of the Interim Council retrospectively, with effect from 13 February 1999 so that the Interim Council can finalise the discharge of its mandate and to prepare for the elections of the permanent Council.
The draft Bill has three clauses.
Clause 1 amends the time frame within which the Interim Council has to discharge its mandate referred to above. The current framework within which the mandate has to be discharged is 36 months. Clause 1 seeks to amend the framework from 36 months to 60 months.
Clause 2 seeks to amend the term of office of the Interim Council. The current term of office of the Interim Council is 36 months. Clause 2 seeks to amend the term of office from 36 to 60 months. The rationale for extending the term of office of the Interim Council from 36 to 60 months is to enable the Interim Council to finalise the discharge of its mandate including the electoral process for the permanent Council and also to enable the Department to finalise the general amendments to the Principal Act.
Clause 3 seeks to make the extension of the term of office of the Interim Council from 36 to 60 retrospective. The retrospective application of the Bill (an Act after it has been passed by Parliament) is necessary because as stated under the Summary above, the term of office of the Interim Council expired in February 1999. The delay in extending the term of office of the Interim Council before the term of office expired was occasioned by an oversight on the part of the Department.
The Department omitted to amend the principal Act before the expiry of the term of office of the Interim Council as since the beginning of 1999, immediately after receiving the Portfolio Committee on Health's report on the proposed permanent council's structure, the Department has been busy drafting a general amendment to the Principal Act on the basis of the recommendations submitted and it was not envisaged that the process would take long to finalise.
The Bill, when passed will apply retrospectively. As the provisions of the draft bill do not violate individuals constitutional rights, we are of the view that its retrospective application is not unconstitutional.
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