Government of South Africa
The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) is an organization mandated by the new South African Constitution to assist in the wholesale transformation of local government in South Africa from the pre-1994 regime to the new dispensation under the country's first democratically elected government.
The NCOP is a unique legislative body, as it is composed of delegates from South Africa's nine provincial legislatures, and has representation from organised local government.
The three Health Bills have been placed on the government web site, under Draft Bills
South Africa has a new Education Minister in Naledi Pandor but the Health Ministry stays under the controversial Manto Tshabalala-Msimang....
Only provinces can block the parliamentary passage of the controversial National Health Bill that will compel private doctors to practise only where government allows but that is a remote possibility. Last week the National Assembly passed the bill, which provides that private doctors must get certificates of need to establish private practices. This is part of government's effort to provide the same standard and quality of health-care for all, but it is feared it will worsen the emigration loss of young medical professionals. As health is a competency shared between national and provincial government, provinces have to give their mandates on the bill, which will be delivered to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). Observers expect the bill to be challenged in the Constitutional Court if President Thabo Mbeki signs it into law. Members of the NCOP's committee on social services, who return to their provinces this week with the bill and proposed amendments, were told by deputy director-general of health Kamy Chetty that more than 100 amendments were added during public hearings on the bill, but the clauses on certificates of need were not changed. The bill is expected to have an easy passage at provincial level, leaving it to Mbeki to decide on its constitutionality before he signs it into law. If he has doubts he can refer it back to Parliament or ask the Constitutional Court to consider it before it is signed. (Source: Business Day, 9 September 2003)
A Strong commercialisation drive by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Africa's largest research and development body, could be slowed down if the new president and CEO, Sibusiso Sibisi, has his way. The council has embarked on the commercialisation drive to reduce its dependence on government funding, which has become stagnant. Its commercial activities include the supply of research and development services or products to the private sector. The campaign has been successful: in less than a decade, the CSIR has shifted its position from being almost entirely dependent on government funding to now deriving about 65% of its R800m revenue from the private sector. However, Sibisi has serious concerns about the drive. The organisation also runs the risk of eroding its knowledge base and becoming nothing more than a technology consultancy if it becomes too dependent on commercial activities. The council, and other science bodies in SA, should be a potent force for social and economic change, he says. While the CSIR is involved in initiatives for social benefit such as food and health projects its achievements on the commercial side have, perhaps, been more notable. Sibisi says Parliament's grant to science organisations such as the Agriculture Research Council, the National Research Foundation, Mintek and the CSIR, could double to about R3bn in the next three years. This will also help to raise the level of research and development by the public and private sectors in SA. SA currently spends just less than 0,7% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) on research and development. We should be looking at raising this level to 1%, says Sibisi. Countries in the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development typically spend about 2% of their GDP on research and development. (Source: Carli Lourens, Business Day, Oct 24 2002)