The DTI and CIPC informed participants that substantive patent examination would be introduced in the country, perhaps as early as 2017. The idea is to fully examine domestic applications in selected fields and to partially recognise the substantive examination outcomes of other jurisdictions in respect of foreign applicants (see Esmé du Plessis' detailed overview of the proposed system here). In order to implement this proposal some legislative changes will be required, as will the recruitment and training of, patent examiners. The legislative process will probably commence soon, hopefully with meaningful scope for stakeholder comments and discussions which many readers of this blog would be keen to participate in. Watch this space for news of developments as they occur.
see Jeremy's post here on an article by this Leo on some suggested ways to introduce substantive patent reform in South Africa