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Science and Technology Amendment Bill Ready for Parliament

April 21, 2011

Department of Science and Technology

Science and technology minister Naledi Pandor has tabled the Science and Technology Laws Amendment Bill in the National Assembly.

Her intention to do so was announced in notice 226 of Government Gazette 34220 dated 15 April 2011.

Inter alia, the bill seeks to address issues pertaining to the appointment of board and council members to specific science institutes, together with related definitions and technicalities.

Proposed amendments will affect:

· Scientific Research Council Act 46 of 1988;
· National Advisory Council on Innovation Act 55 of 1997;
· National Research Foundation Act 23 of 1998;
· Academy of Science of South Africa Act 67 of 2001;
· Africa Institute of South Africa Act 68 of 2001; and
· Natural Scientific Professions Act 27 of 2003.

During a recent meeting of the parliamentary portfolio committee on science and technology, committee chairman Nqaba Ngcobo noted a need for “common” legislation and protocols for:

· the appointment of science council boards; and
· the governance of all entities falling under the department.

He said that, to this end, discussions had already taken place with minister Naledi Pandor since, his view, the separate statutes governing each entity had tended to create confusion.

Meanwhile, control of the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory has been transferred from the National Research Foundation to the South African National Space Agency.

The transfer became effective on 1 April 2011 but was only announced on 15 April 2011 in notice 332 of Government Gazette 34197.