Invitation to attend: Focus Group on the Review of the National Council for Library and Information Services

Friday, 20 October, 2023

We invite you to attend this Focus Group online session to be held online through Teams.
DATE: Friday 27 October 2023
TIME: 09h00-13h00
Microsoft Teams meeting
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Meeting ID: 362 040 384 51 
Passcode: kvAw2u 
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Please email Sholeen Sanker on to confirm your ability to attend.

Information below outlines the project and the act briefly and the approach of the focus group points.


Roger Layton Associates (RLA) have been commissioned by the Department of Sports, Arts & Culture to review the Archives Act, Legal Deposit Act, and the NCLIS Act.
The project commenced with an analysis of prior work in reviewing these Acts, from which we identified a range of problems which have been recorded in the past, including the major legislative review conducted by Cheadle in 2008.
We have used this to construct a model of prior thinking on the Act and how it can be modernised and improved, including how best to integrate into the level ecosystem of the country and to align with international standards.
This document provides the background information, including the specific topics of discussion, to assist you in preparing for this engagement.

Brief Description of the NCLIS Act
The purpose of the Act is to establish the National Council for Library and Information Services; to provide for its objects, functions, composition, meetings, committees and annual report: and to provide for matters connected therewith.
Legislation related to the National Council for Library and Information Services typically establishes the legal framework for the organization and functioning of the council. Here are some common elements that such acts might include:

  1. Establishment and Composition: The act usually outlines the establishment of the National Council for Library and Information Services, specifying its composition, structure, and membership criteria. This may include representatives from the library and information sectors, as well as other relevant stakeholders.
  2. Objectives and Functions: The legislation typically outlines the objectives and functions of the council. This could involve promoting library and information services, advising the government on relevant policies, and coordinating activities within the sector.
  3. Powers and Authority: The act may confer specific powers and authority to the National Council, enabling it to carry out its functions effectively. This might include the ability to make recommendations, issue guidelines, or collaborate with other entities.
  4. Funding and Resources: Provisions related to funding and resources are often included in the act. This may specify how the council is funded, its budgetary requirements, and its ability to receive grants or allocate funds.
  5. Relationship with Government: The legislation may define the relationship between the National Council and the government, including reporting mechanisms, accountability structures, and the appointment or nomination process for council members.
  6. Advisory Role: The act might highlight the advisory role of the National Council, especially in terms of providing advice and recommendations to the government on matters related to library and information services.


Focus Group Approach
We are providing a copy of this Act for your reference.
NOTE: There is a limited time for this, and the purpose of this focus group is to guide the process.
The session will be structured as follows:
·       The digital transformation of society, and the 4IR, have led to questioning whether these Acts remain relevant, and were future-proofed in advance, or whether changes are needed to accommodate these changes. On the one side, much is written in a media-neutral basis, which can be interpreted as paper or digital forms. However, the digital world also changes how we think and act in preserving our heritage, and how this heritage is made available.
·       Whereas a review was conducted in 2006-2008, this would be before the significant changes in digital technologies and the widespread availability of the Internet that have occurred in the past 15 years, and we expected that this older review would fail to have considered the impact of digital technologies on these acts, and society. However, it is likely that other recommendations outside of digital transformation may remain relevant.
We will consider the three Acts from a constitutional perspective to ensure that the Acts give effect to the rights in the Bill of Rights. In doing so, we will focus on the right of everyone to participate in cultural life as well as have access to their cultural heritage, including marginalised groups such as people with disabilities.

Published date: 
Friday, 20 October, 2023