Chairperson, Deputy President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon members and fellow South Africans, I want you to note that during our deliberations members of the opposition party didn't have a say. At least they have consulted and now we know that they are adopting the Bill.
The ANC as the governing party remains committed to our people's contract of better life for all. The ANC supports the Science and Technology Laws Amendment Bill. The current amendments are in response to the gaps identified in the previous Bill. Furthermore, it deals with codes of ethics and organisational culture. It has been a practice that most of the departments with common interest have been working in silos using minimum resources.
The Bill is about harmonising the six public entities reporting to the department in working together, collaborating and sharing best practices. The ANC wants to assure the people of South Africa that the Bill has went through formal legal processes. The Bill is technical, administrative and is an enabling legislation that addresses and promotes the following: good governance, transparency`, accountability, professionalism - skill-based, knowledge-based and experience-based - skills retention, fair representation per demographics. Most of us normally talk about institutional memory. Colleagues, here we are not speaking about female and males, but we are speaking about gender demographics in terms of religion, sex, age, people with disability, lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, gender queer, queer, intersexes, gender, asexual, and ally, LGBTQIA+, and everybody who is part of the society.
Hon members, note that when we speak about science, technology and innovation we don't speak human disruption, but disruptive solutions. Understand what I am talking about. Don't disrupt us. We are speaking about disruptive solutions, information technology, IT, innovations.
This amendment Bill speaks to uniformity and it has clear terms of references and time frames, which is five periods. It seeks to strengthen collaborations and intergovernmental relations and international relations. It is clear in terms of clarifications of powers and functions between Ministers and board council members and it speaks about value for money.
The current amendments will ensure that as a developmental state, our state- owned enterprises, SOEs, play an important role in growing our economy in addressing societal problems through scientific research and technological innovation as recognised by the National Development Plan, NDP.
It has been proven that the following entities work together in terms of knowledge production and innovation and the country is able to compete globally in science, technology and innovation: Academy of Science, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Human Sciences Research Council, National Research Foundation, SA National Space Agency and Technology Innovation Agency.
The Bill is about redressing and transforming the system as it is constitutional mandate and we cannot negotiate the plight of our people. Scientific research and technological innovation in our life time is an enabling and necessary platform to fast-track our services to develop and grow South Africa together. It is important to note that we cannot speak boldly about economic freedom in our lifetime without investing in research and development and the advancement of science, technology and innovation. As we normally say young minds are innovative minds and investment therein is an investment into the future.
Hon members, I would like to call on this august House to join the community of Mohlakeng in the West Rand in celebrating one of their own who has been appointed as first black female Geologist lecturer at the University of Pretoria, ms Mampho Maoyi. [Applause.] This shows that it is true when we say that South Africa is alive with possibilities.
With this piece of legislation we must firmly place our nation at the centre of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in order to address our triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
There is nothing wrong with continuous planning. As the ANC we pride ourselves with the NDP. If we fail to plan, we plan to fail. Let's keep working local and think globally.
As I conclude, Deputy President, hon Ramaphosa, His Excellency the President, in his 2019 in his state of the nation address debate emphasised on the significance of an activist parliament. In the same breath with the same matter of social compact, we would want to commit ourselves that we will, indeed, soldier on "thuma thina." [send us]. Lastly, I would like to speak about the issue of hon Boshof. Thank you as well for giving the lecture to the FF Plus about us, black people, of being capable. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M G E HENDRICKS Ms J S MANANISO
Hon Chair, thank you very much for the opportunity. It was very encouraging to listen to the Minister saying that the amendments are catalyst for economic growth. And I am very excited about the opportunities that the Minister highlighted for smart agriculture, and also that he is very keen that his Ministry will now drive the skills knowledge that we need.
However, investment in research and innovation is still a Cinderella when it comes to building a modern South Africa for the 21st and 22nd centuries. All we seem to have is just a telescope. Our nuclear know how before apartheid has not been harnessed. It could have assisted us today with our electricity calamity, a calamity brought in by five parliaments.
It looks like we have no hope of sending a space mission to the moon. So there is no ambition amongst our brilliant young scientists to aim for the skies.
We do agree that the Minister must at least be consulted in the appointed of CEOs in state-owned entities, SOEs, so that he can take the blame if they mess up as it has happened over the past five parliaments. The Sixth Parliament must not be in the same boat.
Science and technology opportunities, especially at the most senior levels, should have no racial discrimination. For once I agree with the hon members of the FF Plus. It is very important that South Africa takes advantage of the brilliance and the innovation of its citizens and no one should be left out to take South Africa to the 21st and 22nd centuries. Al Jama'ah supports amendments to the Bill.
Mr B B NODADA / GC / TAKE ENDS AT 14:59