Selection of Chairperson for National Lotteries Board: Task Team report

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Trade and Industry

22 September 2009
Chairperson: Ms J Fubbs ( ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The task team report on the selection of Chairperson to the National Lotteries Board was tabled and presented. Members of the Committee, whilst expressing their appreciation for the work done by the task team, asked that changes be made to the wording in relation to the requirements on page 6, the wording of point 6 of the terms of reference, to clarify the term “fund”, and to insert a requirement that disabled people should be considered, along with equity requirements. Members discussed whether there was a need to be more specific, but decided not to be too prescriptive, as the Committee would be aware of what mix it was seeking on the Board. The task team confirmed that it had considered the security clearance issue, and that this would be undertaken by the usual State channels.

Members agreed that the same task team, headed by Mr S Njikelana (ANC) should be in charge of shortlisting candidates, and compiling the questionnaire that would be used when interviewing the candidates, by 6 October 2009. The shortlist would be completed by 2 November. The full Committee would then interview those shortlisted, save that Mr Marais had indicated that he would not participate in the interviews, since he had nominated a candidate.

The Committee adopted reports tabled at previous meetings.

Meeting report

Task Team Report on selection of Chairperson to National Lotteries Board (NLB)
Mr S Njikelana (ANC) tabled the report of the Task Team, relating to the selection of a Chairperson to the National Lotteries Board (NLB). The Chairperson called for comment.

Mr P van der Westhuizen (DA) said that there was something wrong with page 6 of the document, on the line stating that “not more than five members with applicable business acumen” should be considered.  The paragraph had been taken out of context from the legislation. The legislation did not say that the sixth or seventh person could not have business acumen. He suggested that this wording be removed.

Mr S Marais (DA) congratulated the task team for compiling the document, saying that it was a good example of how Parliament should work. He then referred to page one of the document, and asked that point 6 of the Terms of Reference should be clarified. The term “fund” was very broad, and there was a need to define the type of fund.

Mr Marais said that the terms of reference for the appointment of the board should also specify disabled people. Able-bodied people did not really understand the circumstances and the needs of the disabled. The terms of reference for the appointment of the board should thus not just emphasize gender and race.

Mr Z Ntuli (ANC) asked why the document did not simply refer to “equity requirements”.

The Chairperson agreed that equity issues should also be added, and the word “disability” should be added to the terms of reference. Equity needed to be considered when redistributing funds.
The Chairperson told the Committee that she was very surprised to see Hilton College as one of the beneficiaries of the fund. She questioned how the word “equity” would apply to Hilton College.

Mr Marais said that anyone with a good business plan could receive funding from the NLB, and this was one of the reasons why poor people tended to be excluded.

Mr Marais stressed that out of the five board members there should  be a person representing the interests of the disabled. He reiterated that most able- bodied people did not have the experience and the knowledge of the issues of the disabled, and many of those people who applied for funding were disabled.

Mr X Mabaso (ANC) suggested that there was a need to have a paragraph in the document that summarised the situation that the NLB was in before the proposals were made. The paragraph had to emphasise the challenges that had been faced by the Board.

Mr L Mphahlele (PAC) referred to the section of the document referring to the security check, and asked who was going to be conducting the security check.

Ms P Lebenya (IFP) said that the relevant State body always conducted security clearances.

The Chairperson agreed that these were important issues, and asked Mr Njikelana if that had been considered.

Mr Njikelana said that indeed it was considered, and the relevant State bodies would conduct the security checks, as noted by Ms Lebenya.

The Chairperson noted that the Committee had many parties and most of the members would want to discuss the document with their parties, before the Committee adopted it as the Committee Report.  

The Chairperson said that women should be strongly considered for the Board, perhaps even being given preferential consideration. She requested that there should at least one black African woman on the Board. However, there would be a problem if the applicants’ references were not correct.

A Member said that the Committee should strive to at least have one black African female and a disabled person.

Mr Marais said that the Committee should be cautious not to write too much detail in legislation, as it would create a legal obligation. However the Committee knew what it needed to do and thus would actively consider women for the position.

Mr Njikelana agreed with this point.

Mr van der Westhuizen suggested that the Committee appoint a sub-Committee to shortlist the candidates, who should then make recommendations to the main Committee.

The Chairperson said that the document was an operational guideline. The task team could refine the document to have a broader document. She suggested that the task team would be retained to conduct the shortlisting of the candidates.

Mr Njikelana agreed that the task team should do the bulk of the work. The Committee would be made aware of everything done. The final shortlist would be presented to the Committee by 2 November 2009. The task team was also going to compile the list of questions that would be asked of the candidates, and this would be ready by 6 October.

Mr Njikelana said that there was a need to draw lessons from the Portfolio Committee on Communication in its appointment of the SABC Board.

The Chairperson said that the full Committee would conduct the interviews, not the task team. She reminded the Committee that Mr Marais had excused himself from the process as he had nominated someone for the position. She stated that if any other Member of the Committee knew a person who was going to be interviewed, they should disclose that.

The Chairperson then formally called for a proposal that the exiting task team conduct the shortlisting of candidates. This was proposed, seconded, and adopted by the Committee.

The Committee also agreed that although the same Members continue to serve on the task team, the Chairperson could sit in on certain meetings.

The Chairperson stated that she should not interfere in the task team’s work, and the meetings would not be built around her schedule.

The Committee Report was adopted, subject to the amendments proposed.

Adoption of Minutes and Committee Reports
The reports tabled during the meetings of 1 September, 2 September, 8 September and 9 September 2009 were considered and adopted.

The meeting was
adjourned.

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