14 November 2007

Re: Submission on the Traditional Health Practitioners Bill

As a Sector we would like to submit before the Portfolio Committee on Health as follows:­

1. We fully support the Traditional Health Practitioners Bill and its contents, save as set out in 4 and 5 hereunder;

2. State clearly that we have been fully consulted during the drafting process of the Bill through our representatives in the Traditional Healers Forum that represented our Sector throughout the process; 3. Further confirm our full support of Chapters 1, 3, 4 and 5 of the Bill in their entirety.

4. With regard to Chapter 2, Sections 7 (a), (b), (e), (h) and (i), we would like to register and propose the following amendments to this chapter:­

I. In respect of a Traditional Health Practitioner who is appointed as a Chairperson of the Council and the Vice-Chairperson respectively he I she must have been practising as such for a period of not less than five years.

II. In respect of a person appointed on account of his or her knowledge of the law, he/she must be an admitted attorney or advocate with five year experience in dealing with such matters relating to Traditional Health Practices.

III. In respect of community representatives, he/ she must be a person who has knowledge about Traditional Health Practices.

IV. In respect of the other categories of Traditional Health Practitioners, he/she must be a person who has been practising as such (in that specific category) for a period of not less than five years prior to the date of such an appointment.

5. We further submit that Chapter 2, Section 9 (g), should be removed as a disqualification clause from being a member of the Interim Council. The said provision, if made applicable, could limit the number of persons that are eligible, qualified and capable for appointment by reason of them being, currently or in the preceding 12 months, members of the National Assembly, provincial legislatures, NCOP or municipal council. This would inevitably deprive the Interim Council of the expertise, knowledge and experience such persons may possess due to their involvement in the processes leading up to the drafting of this Bill, thereby compromising or prejudicing the proper attainment of the objects and exercise of the functions of the Council as set out in the Bill.

6. In the alternative, we propose that the coming into operation of Section 9(g) of the Bill be suspended for a certain period or for the duration of the term of office of the Interim Council as part of the transitional arrangements. This would entail the addition to Section 51 of a Sub­section or insertion of a new Section that provides for the phasing in of the application of the provisions of Section 9(g).

LS Nduku General Secretary

SJ Mhlongo National Chairperson