Hon House Chair, this bill seeks to promote accountability and transparency of boards and councils regarding science and technology. We note the many technical amendments of this Bill in providing sufficient powers to ensure accountability and transparency in the boards and councils. The boards and councils oversee the work of various entities in this department and act as a strategic mechanism ensuring functionality.
The IFP believes in making amendments that speak to appointing those who are fit and proper. We are glad to see the board and the Minister being compelled to engage each other in this regard as a first step in appointing people who are fit and proper, through this Amendment Bill. The consultation between both parties will reduce the potential for an individual to abuse the power. In a democracy, checks and balances are important in order to ensure that the people govern through elected individuals. Checks and balances work to promote accountability and transparency which must be the tool that people use to assess their levels of satisfaction with government.
The public confidence in this department and some of its entities is currently low and these amendments seek to redress the lost confidence. We saw the clear indications of the lack of confidence during the portfolio committee's oversight and presentations made to it.
Public confidence must be built by showing that these entities are free from corruption, nepotism and patronage. These entities are seemingly run as if they are just a tuck shop.
Currently, South Africa has been left in the wake of grand corruption by the former administration. We witness through many commissions and the Zondo Commission, of a clear lack of attention paid to checks and balances, accountability and transparency.
We maintain that only people who show excellence and who are suitably qualified should be appointed in boards, councils or official positions. In doing so, we will start to realise a professionally skilled public service. However, these amendments alone won't ensure the fully skilled public service that our nation deserves. We must guard against partisan relationships at board and council levels to ensure that jobs are given to those who are equal to the tasks required and not because they are friends of the Ministers or other people. The IFP supports this Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]
Dr W J BOSHOFF / AZM MNGUNI (26-02-2020)/ END OF TAKE 14:32