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PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
23 May 2006
COMMITTEE BUSINESS: JAPANESE VISIT; ADOPTION OF REPORT ON DST
Chairperson: Mr E Ngcobo (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Report on 2006/07 Strategic Plans of DST and its Entities
Committee Minutes for:
7 March 2006
8 March 2006
9 March 2006
10 March 2006
13 March 2006
14 March 2006
15 March 2006
16 March 2006
24 March 2006
29 March 2006
31 March 2006
The Committee adopted the 2006/07 Strategic Plans of the Department of Science and Technology with grammatical, punctuation and spelling amendments. The Chairperson pointed out that although the minutes had grammatical and spelling errors, they were accurate as far as they reflected what had taken place at the meetings.
Adoption of Report on 2006/7 Strategic Plans of DST and its Entities
The Committee adopted the 2006/07 Strategic Plans of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) with grammatical, punctuation and spelling amendments.
Adoption of Committee Minutes
Mr S Dithebe (ANC) pointed out that it was not the correct procedure to include the representatives of the media as part of the delegation to Parliament. He explained that the 8 March 2006 minutes were correct as far as stating that Ms M Pyoos (Acting Director-General of the DST) had led a delegation to Parliament however, he disagreed that the members of the media were part of her delegation. He questioned the inclusion of the media as part of Ms Pyoos’ delegation.
The Chairperson concurred with Mr Dithebe. However, he pointed out that it was important that the minutes reflected in detail what was said and who had been present at meetings. Based on that reasoning, any person who had attended a meeting of such importance should be reflected in the minutes as being present and on what grounds.
Mr J Blanche (DA) explained that the minutes should reflect the agenda. He added that if the agenda had invited outside people and outside people participated in the discussions, then it was correct procedure to have them reflected in the minutes.
Mr P Nefolovhodwe (APO) pointed out that officially, if the Committee had invited members of the media, even if they did not participate in the meeting, it was correct to record them as present in the minutes. He explained that what was wrong with the 8 March 2006 minutes was that the members of the media were reflected as the legitimate participants of that meeting.
The Chairperson agreed that the amendments should be made to the minutes as the members of the Committee had suggested.
Budget Vote Preparations
Regarding the deliberations on budget vote preparations scheduled for 26 May 2006, the Chairperson explained that the Committee had been granted 170 minutes for deliberations. Out of the 170 minutes, the Chairperson pointed out that 68 minutes had been allocated to the ANC. He added that the ANC members had organised themselves into a form of debate team, consisting of six people.
Mr Blanche explained to the Committee that the DA would be represented by two members at the deliberations.
Mr Nefolovhodwe pointed out that he was going to represent the APO at the deliberations.
Mr M Bhengu (IFP) indicated that either he or his alternate (Mr H Bekker) would represent the IFP at the deliberations.
Committee Visit to Japan
The Chairperson announced to the Committee that the members had been invited to visit Japan between the18 June to 24 June 2006. He explained that the tour to Japan would give the members of the Committee an opportunity to interact with local industries in Japan and that the members of the Committee would get a chance to attend science and technology workshops. However, he pointed out that the last time the Committee had planned to travel, the management of Parliament had not approved the Committee’s request. He wondered if the trip to Japan would be approved by Parliament. He added that if the Committee were allowed to go to Japan that would mean that the Committee had to make a trip during parliamentary sitting period.
Mr Nefolovhodwe suggested that the Committee should first identify issues that the Committee wished to be informed on, issues that were relevant to the Committee’s work, and then submit a motivation including a budget for the trip to the management of parliament explaining why it was crucial for the Committee to visit Japan.
Mr Blanche advised the Committee to first determine what scientific and technological needs faced South Africa. He explained that, based on the findings, the Committee would be able to determine what benefits South Africa as a whole would receive in return for sending the Committee to Japan. He added that the advantage of approaching the Japanese invitation that way was that it showed Parliament that the Committee did not want to go to Japan for the sake of travelling.
The Chairperson was of the view that the matter had been fully explored by the members of the Committee. The members concurred. The Chairperson then thanked the members for their contributions and for attending the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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