SA plans forensic turnaround

2012-04-04 19:02

Pretoria - Lengthy delays in acquiring forensic test results have harsh effects on the lives of many South Africans, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Wednesday.

The government hoped to turn around the situation by consistent investment in the study of forensic chemistry and the establishment of a fourth forensic laboratory.

Launching an internship collaboration between the department of health and the University of Pretoria, Motsoaledi said the project would address the massive backlogs at forensic laboratories.

"With this partnership, we believe and we hope that the lives of South Africans will change," he said.

"This [project] will improve efficiency and turnaround times because of the speed at which the pending cases will be finalised."

Budgeted at R12m for tuition and accommodation at the campus, the seven-month programme caters for the training of 70 unemployed graduates in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry and chemical engineering, drawn from all the provinces.

"Our plan is to skill and develop these students at this university and later on we expose them to our laboratories," Motsoaledi said.

He said the fourth forensic laboratory would be established in KwaZulu-Natal, to support the existing ones in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

  • Wilma - 2012-04-05 02:14

    Start by filling existing vacancies with available experts.Even if they are white. The backlog is caused by the opsession with colour.

      Jean - 2012-04-05 07:47

      Exactly Wilma! I know of a case where a gate guard at the forensic building in Silverton, was given a job in one of the labs overnight. No wonder the huge forensic backlog...

  • brionyl.french - 2012-04-05 05:52

    I say stuff colour!!! Stuff Race!!!! If someone qualified can do the work then let them... look into a training section where school leavers can go and study and move straight into this sector once completed and then into one of the 3 soon to be 4 labs, but sorry to say we should have a lab in every major city, and it should be fully stocked of staff and people training after they have qualified through school. These are important jobs that can put real criminals away. WE AS SOUTH AFRICANS NEED TO DO THIS NOT WHITE, BLACK, INDIAN, COLOURED, YELLOW, GREEN, PINK... ITS OUR CRIME WE NEED SOLVING!!! WE NEED THE BEST!! ENSURE TRAINING IS THE BEST EDUCATION IS THE BEST...and right now education is at all time low

      Benn - 2012-04-05 08:16

      Very true, but sadly very idealistic. The ANC regime will not be moved from its colour obsession until the country is completely destroyed.

  • Erich - 2012-04-05 07:20

    I fully agree with the two commentators above. It is imperative that we upgrade our forensic laboratories and the employment of unemployed graduates will largely contribute to the proper functioning and the speedy disposal of many serious criminal cases. These people are the backbone of our justice system.

  • Rob - 2012-04-05 08:42

    Forensic lab services are getting lots of attention, but the situation in the country's clinical labs is no better. The causes are the same as anywhere else in the country. Qualified and experienced white staff become progressively dissatisfied, some leave some stay. They are replaced, and sometimes by restructuring to create extra positions because new staff are unable to cope with the work. There is little or no management accountability amongst remaining white managers for fear of racist accusations, and new black staff either do not have the skills or are simply not inclined to accountability. Setting up more services and doing more of the same, taking the same staffing decisions is not going to help at all. Sure, it sounds and looks good to build new facilities, but really in such highly tecnical environmants as clinical and forensic laboratories what is needed are skills to do the work and skills to manage processes.

  • EmperorNemisis - 2012-04-12 11:51

    What a joke! Maybe the government should try training people who would actually PASS the course, and not people who are thinking of Government sponsored parties, expensive cellphones and new cars! Get your facts right!

  • Kagisho - 2012-04-15 07:06

    Anyone who knows the details on how i can apply to this internship kindly email

  • mzijimmym - 2012-04-17 08:26

    Go Motsoaledi go! You are one of the few hardworking and honest ministers we have,God bless you.

  • Sunmi.Adejumo - 2012-06-14 02:39

    i don't understand when they complaining about back-log or no staff etc but won't hire anyone! i'm a graduate, i'm qualified, have a little practical experience in this exact field and can't seem to find any vacancies. Before anyone says anything about race, i'm black therefore the affirmative action argument doesn't count here. basically what i would like to know is how to get a job at these forensic labs. if anyone has an idea please let me know! i'm tired of seeing these articles everywhere with no solutions

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