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SOCIAL SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
18 September 2001
NATIONAL HEALTH LABORATORY SERVICE AMENDMENT BILL:NEGOTIATING MANDATES
National Health Laboratory Service Amendment Bill [B56-2001]
All the provinces except the Northern Cape endorsed the National Health Laboratory service Amendment Bill without any amendments. There was no report from the Northern Cape. The Chair affirmed the decision by the provinces and directed that the second and last mandate be taken in the next session.
The Minister's poverty alleviation tour, was postponed to the following week.
Mr Sogoni (UDM) tabled the report from the Eastern Province. He informed the Committee that the Eastern Province supports the Bill without amendments. He however raised two concern: firstly that protection should be built into the Bill to ensure that members do not suffer financial losses whilst being dormant members of the Fund.
Secondly the State and not consultants, should be responsible for ensuring that employees are workshopped on the options available and its financial implications, so that such employees take informed decisions.
With these remarks the Committee agreed to support the Bill in principle as it is not prescriptive, but allows employees within the service to make an independent decision.
Free State Province
Dr. Nel (NNP) tabled the mandate from the Free State Province. He informed the Committee that the legal adviser to the Free State legislature had made the following, purely non-substantive alterations.
In line 13, before the word "Fund", to delete the word "such" and to substitute the word with "the".
And in line 14, before the word "Fund" to delete the word "such" and to substitute the word with "the".
Dr. Nel said that save for those minor alterations for clarity purposes, the Free State supports the Bill without further amendments.
The Chair invited the State legal advisor from the Department to comment on the implications of the suggested alterations. The State legal advisor pointed out that there was no problem with the original wording.
He explained that the word "such" is traditionally used whenever something has been referred to for avoidance of repetitions. The suggested amendments do not affect the substance of the Bill but depart from the usual drafting practice.
The Chair asked Dr. Nel whether he wished to contest the explanation given by the State Law advisor to which Dr. Nel replied in the negative. He said that the suggestion originated from the Free State legal advisor and that in any case there was nothing substantive about it to be insisted upon.
The Chair observed that it was customary for lawyers to take different views on the same matter. She suggested that since the suggested amendments do not touch on the substance of the Bill it would be prudent to leave the original wording to stand.
Mr Makoela (ANC) made representations on behalf of the Northern Province. The Northern Province agreed to the principles of the Bill and the inclusion of section 8 as an amendment of the Act.
The NP Province had no objection to the Bill as drafted and would mandates its endorsement without amendment.
The Chair tabled the Gauteng Provincial mandate, which supported the Bill without amendments. The Chair said that Gauteng Committee consulted the following groups before adopting the Bill:
-the South African Institute for Medical Research
-National centre for Occupational Health
-Forensic chemistry laboratories owned by the State; and
-All provincial health laboratory services
Kwazulu Natal Province
Ms Vilakazi (IFP) said that the KZN Province supports the Bill and any further amendments, provided that such amendments:
-do not alter the essential elements of the Bill and
-that consensus is reached on such proposed amendments by the KZN delegates attending the Select Committee finalising the Bill and/or the plenary session of the NCOP voting on the Bill.
In the event of the proviso not being complied with, the proposed amendment/s must be referred to the Provincial Standing Committee on NCOP for decision.
Ms Themba (ANC) tabled the mandate by the Mpumalanga Provincial Committee. The mandate supported the Bill as introduced without amendments.
The Western Cape Province through its representative Ms Witbooi (NNP) supported the Bill as drafted without any amendments.
The Chair thanked the Provincial representatives on behalf of the provinces from interacting with the Bill and for submitting their mandates accordingly. The Bill now would await the second and last mandate for endorsement.
The meeting was adjourned.
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