Natural Scientific Professions Act

Link to law: http://www.gov.za/documents/natural-scientific-professions-act-0
Published: 2003-11-28

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Natural Scientific Professions Act [No. 27 of 2003]


Government Gazette
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

Vol. 461 Cape Town 28 November 2003 No. 25774
THE PRESIDENCY No. 1738 28 November 2003
It is hereby notified that the President has assented to the following Act, which is hereby published for general information:–
No. 27 of 2003: Natural Scientific Professions Act, 2003.

2 No. 25714 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 28 NOVEMBER 2003
Act No. 27.2003 NATURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS ACT, 2003
(English text signed by the President.) (Assented to 25 November 2003.)
ACT To provide for the establishment of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions; and for the registration of professional, candidate and certilbcated natural scientists; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
B E IT ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, as follows:- Definitions
1. In this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates- “candidate natural scientist” means a person registered as such in terms of rsection 5
“category” means any category of registered persons referred to in section 18( 1); “certificated natural scientist” means a person registered as such in terms of section 20(3)(c); “chief executive officer” means a person appointed as chief executive oflicer in 10 terms of section 8( 1); “Council” means the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions established by section 2; “Department” means the Department of Science and Technology; “Director-General’’ means the Director-General of the Department or any officer 15 of the Department acting on the authority of the Director-General; “Minister” means the Minister of A r t s , Culture, Science and Technology; “prescribe” means prescribe by regulation under section 37; “professional natural scientist” means a person registered as such under :section 20(3)(a); 20 “registered person” means a person registered under section 20, and includes any person deemed to be registered in terms of this Act; “registration” means the process of- (a ) assessment of competency of applicants for the purpose of registration under
(b) entering the names of the applicants who qualify into the register contem-
“regulation” means any regulation made under this Act; “this Act” includes any regulation made under this Act; “voluntary association” means any voluntary association recognised lby the 30 Council in terms of section 26.
20(3)fb);
this Act; and 25
plated in section 1 l(c);
Establishment of South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions
2. There is hereby established a juristic person to be known as the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.
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Act No. 27,2003 NATURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS ACT, 2003
Composition of Co,Unci!
3. (1) The Council consists of not fewer than 20 and not more than 30 members,
(a) not fewer than 12 and not more than 18 must be professional natural scientists appointed by the Minister, of whom-
or certificated natural scientists nominated by the voluntary associations and 5
(i) practise natural scientific professions: (ii) represent the categories of registered persons mentioned in section 18:
(iii) fairly represent the different categories in the natural scientific profes- 10
who-
and
sions; (b) not fewer than four and not more than six are in the service of the State, each
nominated by his or her Director-General or the chief executive officer of the organ of state concerned: Provided that at least one of the persons so nominated must be in the service of the Department and one in the sen ice of 15 the Department of Education; and
nominated through an open process of public participation. (c) not fewer than four and not more than six are members of the public
(2) The Council must be constituted in a manner that is broadly representative of the demographics of the country. 20
Nomination procedure
4. (1) When any nomination in terms of section 3(l)(a) or (15) becomes necessary, the Minister must invite the voluntary associations and the State, in the prescribed manner, to nominate persons as members of the Council within a period of at least 30 day:; from the date of the invitation. 25
(2) When any nomination in terms of section 3(l)(c) becomes necessary, the Minister must invite the public by notice in the Gazette and in at least one leading newspa,per in each province, to nominate persons within a period of 30 days from the date of the notice.
(3)(a) The nominations received in terms of subsections (1) and (2) must be presented 30 to a panel appointed by the Minister in the prescribed manner.
(b) The panel must, within 30 days from the presentation of the nominations, make recommendations to the Minister.
(4) The Minister must, within 30 days from the date of the receipt of the recommendations, app int new mbers of the Council. 35
(5) If the Minister receives no nominations or an insufficient number of nominations within the period specified in the invitation, the Minister may, after consultation with the panel, appoint the required number of persons who qualify to be appointed in terms of this Act.
the Council, by notice in the Gazette, publish the- (a) name of evely person so appointed: (b) date from which the appointment takes effect; and (c) period for which the appointment is made.
(6) The Minister must, as soon as practicable after the appointment of the members of 40
(7) The Minister must, within 30 days from the date of the appointment of the 45 Council, determine the time and place of its first meeting, and thereafter the Council must determine the time and place of any future meeting.
Term of office of members of Council
5. (1) The term of office for members of the Council is four years, but members
(2) A member of the Council may not serve for more than two consecutive terms of
(3) Despite subsection (l), the Minister may, by notice in the Gazette. after
continue in office until the succeeding Council is properly constituted. 50
office.
consultation with the Council- (a) extend the period of office of any member of the Council for a period of six 55
(b) terminate the period of office of any member of the Council. months, but he or she may only extend the period of office twice: and
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Act No. 27,2003 NATURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS ACT, 2003
(4) The Minister may only act in terms of subsection (3)(h) if a new Council han been appointed in terms of section 4.
Disqualification from membership of Council and vacation of office
6. (1) A person may not be appointed as a member of the Council if that person- (a) is not a South African citizen; 5 (b) is an unrehabilitated insolvent; (c) after the commencement of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,
1993 (Act No. 200 of 1993), has been convicted of an offence, whether in the Republic or elsewhere, and sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding three months, to a fine as alternative thereto; 10
(d) has, as a result of improper conduct, been removed from an office of trust; (e) has in terms of this Act been found guilty by a disciplinary tribunal or the
cf) is not, in the case of a person referred to in section 3(a) or (b), a registered Council of improper conduct; or
person. 15 (2) A member of the Council must vacate his or her office if he or she-
(a) becomes disqualified in terms of subsection (1) from being appointed as a
(b) resigns by written notice addressed to the chief executive officer; (c) is declared by the High Court to be of unsound mind or mentally disordered or 20
(d) has, without leave of the Council, been absent from more than two
(e ) was appointed in terms of section 3(a) and is no longer a member of the body
cf) was appointe,d in terms of section 3(b) and ceases to be employed by the State;
(g) ceases to be permanently resident in the Republic of South Africa.
member of the Council;
is detained under the Mental Health Act, 1973 (Act No. 18 of 1973);
consecutive meetings of the Council;
that nominated him or her; 25
or
(3) The Council may, by notice in writing, remove a member from office if the Council has sufficient reason to believe that the person concerned is not fit and proper to 30 hold office. (4) (a) If a member of the Council dies or vacates his or her office before the
expiration of his or her term of office, the Minister may, after consultation with the Council and subject to subsection (l), appoint a person to fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the p riod for which that member was ppointed. 35 (b) The appointment contemplated in paragraph (a) must be made within 60 days
from the date on which the vacancy occurs.
Election of president and vice-president of Council
7. (1) (a) The members of the Council must at the first meeting of every newly constituted Council elect a president and vice-president. 40
(b) Both the president and the vice-president must be registered persons and at least one must practise a natural scientific profession.
(c) The president and vice-president hold office for the period of four years from the date of their appointment.
(2) The vice-president may perform all the functions of the president if the president 45 is for any reason unable to act as such.
(3) (a) If both the president and the vice-president are unable to preside at a Council meeting, the members present must elect a person from their number to preside at that meeting.
vice-president resumes his or her functions, perform all the functions of the president. (b) The person elected may, during that meeting and until the president or 50
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Act No. 27,2003 NATURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS ACT, 2003
8. (1) The Council may appoint a chief executive officer and such other officials as it may deem necessary to carry out its functions, on such conditions, including the payment of remuneration and a honorarium, as it may determine.
or her by the Council. (2) The chief executive officer must perform such functions as may be assigned to him 5
Decisions of Council
9. (1) A decision of the majority of the members of the Council constitutes a decision of the Council.
(2) In the event of an equality of votes the person presiding at the meeting has a 10 casting vote in addition to his or her deliberative vote.
(3) A decision taken by the Council or an act performed under the authority of the Council is not invalid by reason only of a vacancy on the Council, or that a person who is not entitled to sit as a member of the Council sat as a member at the time when the decision was taken or the act was authorised, if the decision was taken or the act was 15 authorised by the requisite majority of the members of the Council who were present at the time and entitled to sit as members.
Administrative powers of Council
10. The Council may- ( a ) subject to the approval of the Minister and the Minister of Finance, determine 20
the allowances payable from the funds of the Council to its members and the members of any committee of the Council;
(bj subject to the approval of the Minister and the Minister of Finance, arrange for the payment of pension and other benefits to any official of the Council or his or her dependants on termination of service; 25
(c) determine where its head office must be situated; (d) determine the manner in which meetings of the Council or any committee of
the Council must be convened, the procedure and quorum at such meetings and the manner in which minutes of such meetings must be kept; and
( e ) publish, sell and otherwise disseminate any publication relating to the natural 30 scientific professions.
Powers of Council with regard to registration
11. Subject to this Act, the Council must- (a) consider and decide on any application for registration; (b) determine and prescribe the period of validity of the registration of a 35
registered person; (c) keep a register of registered persons and decide on the-
(i) form of certificates and the register to be kept; (ii) maintenance of the register or issuing of certificates; and
(iii) reviewing of the register and the manner in which alterations thereto may 40 be effected.
Powers of Council with regard to fees and charges
12. (1) The Council must, with regard to fees and charges payable to the Cmouncil, determine-
application fees; 45 registration fees; annual fees, or any portion thereof in respect of a part of a year; the date on which any fee or charge is payable; any charge payable for the purposes of the education and training fund contemplated in section 15(5); 50 fees payable by the Council in terms of an appointment contemplated in section 14(cj; or any other fee or charge it considers necessary.
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Act No. 27,2003 N.4TURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS ACT, 2003
(2) The Council may grant exemption from payment of any fees or charges or any portion thereof referred to in subsection (1).
Powers of Council with regard to education and training in natural sciences
13. The Council mav- perform such functions within the framework of the South African Qualifica- tions Authority Act, 1995 (Act No. 58 of 1995), and the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act No. 101 of 1997), as may be required by those Acts, and must in this regard consult with- (i) the Council on Higher Education established by the Higher Education
Act, 1997, regarding matters relevant to education in the natural sciences;
(ii) the South African Qualifications Authority established by the South African Qualifications Authority Act, 1995, to determine competency standards for the purpose of registration;
establish mechanisms for registered persons to gain recognition of their qualifications and professional status in other countries; recognise any examination contemplated in section 20 or withdraw the recognition; enter into an agreement with any person, within or outside the Republic, with regard to the recognition of any examination or qualification for the purposes of this Act; give advice or render assistance to any educational institution, voluntary association or examining body with regard to educational facilities for, and the training and education of, registered persons and prospective registered persons; and through a recognised agency having the competency to do so, conduct any examination for the purposes of section 20.
General powers of Council
14. The Council may, in addition to other powers in this Act- acquire, hire, maintain, let, sell or otherwise dispose of movable property, subject to the approval of the Minister, or immovable property, subject to the approval of the Minister and the Minister of Finance, for the efkctive performance of its functions; decide upon the manner in which contracts must be entered into on behalf o the Council; appoint any person to perform any service within the Council's competence; advise the Minister or any other Minister on any matter relating to the natural scientific professions; undertake research into matters relating to the natural scientific professions and encourage such research; take such steps as it may consider necessary- (i) for the protection of the public in their dealings with registered persons;
and (ii) for the maintenance of the integrity, the enhancement of the status, and
the improvement of the standards of services rendered by regi,stered persons;
take such steps as it may consider necessary to create an awareness amongst registered persons of the importance to protect the environment against harmful natural scientific practices; take such steps as it may consider necessary, where, as a result of undertsikings related to natural science, public health and safety is prejudiced; take such measures as it may consider necessary for the proper performalnce of its functions or to achieve the objects of this Act.
Funds of Council and keeping and auditing of accounts
15. (1) The funds of the Council consist of money received in terms of this Act and all
(2) The Council may, subject to section 66 of the Public Finance Management Act, other monies which may accrue to the Council from any other lawful source.
1999 (Act NO. 1 of 1999)-
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
.. . . . . . . . . . .
12 No. 25714 GOVERNMENT GAZE;TTE. ZR NOVEMBER 2003
Act No. 27,2003 NATURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS ACT, 20103
(a ) raise money by way of a loan, subject to the approval of the Minister and the Minister of Finance, for the purpose of effectively performing its functions;
(6) mortgage, subject to the approval of the Minister and lthe Minister of Finance. any of its immovable property as security for a loan referred to in paragraph ( ( 1 ) . 5
(3) The Council must remunerate its members, committee members and officials only
(4) The Council may finance any publication contemplated in section 10(r). ( 5 ) The Council may establish and administer a fund for the purpose of the education
and training of students in the natural scientific professions and for the continued I O education and training of registered persons in compliance with the national developmental imperatiqes.
(6) The Council must keep full and correct account of all monies received and expended by it.
(7) ( a ) The Council must annually prepare a statement of income and expenditure and 15 a balance sheet showing its financial position as at the close of the financial year to which it relates.
(b) The Council must have the statement and balance sheet audited by an auljitor registered in terms of the Public Accountants' and Auditors' Act, 1991 (Act No. 80 of 1991). 20
(c) A copy of the audited statement and balance sheet must be open for inspection at the offices of the Council.
(8) The Council must, within six months from the close of each financial year, submit the audited statement and balance sheet to the Minister and must provide a copy t o the Director-General. 25
(9) The Minister may, with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance and on request of the Council-
( a ) advance or grant to the Council, out of money apprfopriated by Parliament.
(6) determine the conditions to and repayment of the advance. 30
from its funds.
such amounts as the Minister considers necessary.;
(,IO) The financial year of the Council ends on the date determined in the Public
(1 1 ) The Council must apply due care, diligence and full transparency when investing Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999).
any money or appropriating any expenditure from the funds of the Council.
Reports to Department , I
35
16. (1) The'Council must, within six months from the close of each frinancial :year. provide the Minister with an annual report regarding its activities during that finamial year for tabling in Parliament.
(2) A copy of the report referred to in subsection (1) and the r'egister referred 'to in section 11(c) must be open for inspection at the offices of the Council. . A * 40
(3) The Council must. on request of the Director-General, provide the Department with any information regarding a registered person.
Committees bf Council
I ..
17. (1) ( a ) The Council may establish any committee to assist it in the performance of its functions and may appoint any person as a member of that committee. 35
(b) If the Council does not designate a chairperson for a committee. the committee may, at its first meeting, elect a chairperson from among its members.
(L . ) The Council may at any time dissolve or reconstitute a committee. (2) Section 9 applies with the necessary changes in respect of a committee of the
Council. 50
Categories of registration
18. (1) The categories for egistered persons in the natural scientific professions are- (a) professional natural scientist; (b) candidate natural scientist; and (c) certificated natural scientist. 55
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Act No. 27,2003 NATURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS ACT, 2003
(2) A persor? may not practise ir? ~ - y of the fie!& of practice listed in Sch~ctu!e Ij unless he or she is registered in a category mentioned in subsection (1).
Fields of practice in natural scientific professions
19. (1) The fields of practice in the natural sciences are listed in Schedule I. (2) (a) The Council may determine fields of practice in the natural sciences which are
generically the same as those mentioned in Schedule I and recommend to the Minister that such fields of practice be included in Schedule I.
(b) The Minister may by notice in the Gazette, after consideration and approv,al of a recommendation by the Council, amend or delete a field of practice listed in Schedule I or add any field of practice thereto.
Registration
20. (1) Only a registered person may practise in a consulting capacity. (2) (a) A person must apply, in the prescribed manner, to the Council for registration
in a category referred to in section 18( 1) and a field of practice listed in Schedulie I. (b) The application referred to in paragraph (a) must be accompanied by the
prescribed registration fee. (3) The Council must register and issue a registration certificate to the successful
applicant in the prescribed form if it is satisfied that the applicant, in the case of a person applying for registration as a-
(a ) professional natural scientist in any field of practice listed in Schedule I, has proved that he or she has satisfied the relevant educational requirement determined by the Council for this purpose by- (i) demonstrating his or her competence against standards determined by
the Council for the relevant category of registered persons; or (ii) passing any examinations that may be determined by the Council.;
(b) candidate natural scientist in any field of practice listed in Schedule I, has proved that he or she has satisfied the relevant educational requirement determined by the Council for this purpose by- (i) passing accredited or ecognised examinations at any educational
institution offering educational programmes in the natural sciences; (ii) passing any other examination that may be determined by the Council; or
(iii) presenting evidence of prior experience in the natural sciences; (c) certificated natural scientist in any field of practice listed in Schedule I, has
proved that he or she has satisfied the relevant educational requirements determined by the Council for this purpose, by- (i) passing accredited or ecognised examinations at any educational
institution offering educational programmes in the natural sciences; (ii) passing any other examination that may be determined by the Council; or
(iii) presenting evidence of prior experience in the natural sciences.
if. after the commencement of the Constitution of the Reuublic of South (4) (a ) Despite subsection (3) , the Council may refuse to register an app1icani.-
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
Africa, 1993 (Act No. 200 of 1993), the applicant has been'convicted of an offence, either in the Republic or elsewhere, and sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding three months, or a fine as alternative thereto; if the applicant is declared by the High Court to be of unsound mind or 45 mentally disordered, or is detained under the Mental Health Act, 1973 (Act No. 17 of 1973); for as long as the registration of the applicant is suspended as a result of any punishment imposed on him or her under this Act; if the applicant has been removed from an office of trust on account of 50 improper conduct; if the applicant is an unrehabilitated insolvent whose insolvency was caused by his or her negligence or incompetence in performing work falling within
16 No. 25114 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 28 NOVEMBER 2003
Act No. 27,2003 NATURAL SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONS ACT, 2003
the scope of the category ir? respect of which he or she is app!yin!g for registration.
jb) The Council must inform the applicant in writing if an application for registration is refused.
Cancellation of registration 5
21. (1) ( a ) The Council may cancel the registration of a registered person if he or she-
(i) becomes disqualified for registration as contemplated in section 20(4); (ii) has erroneously been registered, or has been registered on information
subsequently proved to be false; or 10 (iii) fails to pay the prescribed annual fee or portion thereof, within 60 days from
it becoming due or within such further period as the Council may allow, either before or after expiry of the 60 days.
(b) The Council must inform the registered person in writing f his or her registration is cancelled. 15
(2) ( a ) If a person who is registered as a candidate natural scientist qualifies to be registered as a professional natural scientist in terms of section 20(3)(a), the Council must cancel his or her registration as a candidate natural scientist.
(b) If a person who is registered as a certificated natural scientist qualifies to be registered as a candidate natural scientist in terms of section 20(3)(b), the Council must 20 cancel his or her registration as a certificated natural scientist.
(3) The Council must at the written request of any registered person cancel his or her registration, but where an investigation into alleged improper conduct by that person is in progress or is to be held, the registration may not be cancelled until the investigation has been concluded. 25
(4) Despite the cancellation of the registration of a registered person in terms of this section, that person remains liable for any fee, arrears or penalty imposed by the Council for the period that he or she was registered.
Authorised titles
22. (1) A registered person may- 30 (a) use the title “Professional Natural Scientist”, “Candidate Natural Scientist”
(b) &x the prescribed abbreviation after his or her name. (2) A certificated natural scientist or candidate natural scientist-
(a ) may only perform work in the natural scientific professions under the 35 supervision and control of a professional natural scientist;
(b) must use his or her title in all natural scientific reports and other documentation relating to his or her work in the natural scientific profession prepared by him or her.
or “Certificated Natural Scientist”, as the case may be; and
Renewal of registration 40
23. (1) A registered person must, at least three months prior to the expiry of his ‘or her registration, apply in the prescribed manner to the Council for the renewal of his or her registration.
(2) The Council may determine conditions for the renewal of registration. (3) The Council must, on application, register a person who had previously been 45
registered and whose registration was cancelled in terms of section 2l(l)(a)(iii), if he or she has paid-
(a ) the prescribed application and registration fees; (b ) any annual fee or portion thereof in arrears; (c) any expenses incurred by the Council in connection with the recovery of any 50
(d) any penalties imposed on him or her by the Council. fees in arrears; and
18 NO. 257’r4