Committee Report on filling of five vacancies in Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Council

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Communications and Digital Technologies

09 June 2015
Chairperson: Ms J Moloi-Moropa (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to consider the draft Committee report on the filling of five vacanciesoin the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Council. Ms V Van Dyk (DA) objected to the nominations of Mr Lumko Mtimde and Mr Thamsanqa Ntenteni and these objections were noted in the report. The Democratic Alliance expressed concern that Mr Thamsanqa Ntenteni had been put forward for roles at the Media Development Diversity Agency and ICASA as this would create a conflict.  The Committee noted the reservations on the nominations and adopted the report. 

Meeting report

Chairperson’s opening remarks

The Chairperson indicated that the Committee was supposed to deal with the Digital Terrestial Television (DTT) presentation which the Minister was supposed to present. However, the Committee was made aware that in the light of the current developments, and the preparations for the DTT, the Minister was engaged in bilateral countries and was therefore unable to brief Members on the matter. This matter would then be deferred for another suitable time. She requested that Members avail themselves for this meeting as soon as the date for the meeting is finalised.

Mr G Davis (DA) said Members had not received the agenda and copies of the report to be considered were only made available to Members a few minutes before the meeting. This made it hard for Members to thoroughly do their work. He asked how the Committee determined which issues to be put on the agenda. Last week he brought forward a matter which he requested that the Chairperson consider for the next meeting however no response to this proposal was received.

The Chairperson replied that the Committee Secretary, Mr T Ngoma, was on sick leave and he was in charge of the Committee’s administration. This explained the documents being made available late to Members. As for the items on the agenda, she indicated that the Committee normally discussed and agreed on this beforehand. She indicated that she had responded to the letter written by Mr Davis. Lastly, she added that whatever issues Members wanted to flag for consideration these needed to be communicated to the Chairperson before the meeting.

Mr Davis said he did not receive a letter from the Chairperson.  He asked for guidance on how the Committee dealt with issues to be considered for the agenda. It seemed as though items for the agenda came from the secretariat or from the Chairperson only. It was very hard for Members to put forward proposals as agenda items. How should Members go about it when they wanted to put forward an item for a meeting’s agenda?

The Chairperson responded that Members were always welcome to put forward their proposals for the agenda before a meeting. Any items which came from the secretariat were there because they had previously been adopted by the Committee, in preparation for the next meeting. She apologised that Mr Davis had not received the response to his letter; a follow up on the matter would be made. 

Consideration of Draft Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on the filling of five vacancies in the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Council

Ms V Van Dyk (DA) indicated that Mr Davis’s name appeared on the report when he had actually submitted an apology for the meeting.

Chairperson Moloi-Moropa said Mr Davis was replaced by Ms Van Dyk for the meeting. This would be corrected in the report.

The Chairperson read out the report, dated 9 June 2015.

The Chairperson indicated that eight names were recommended by the subcommittee but only five names would be appointed.

Ms Van Dyk objected to the nominations of Mr Lumko Mtimde and Mr Thamsanqa Ntenteni and asked that these objections be noted in the report.

The Chairperson said the objection would be included as part of the report.

Ms R Van Schalkwyk (ANC) asked that Ms Van Dyk include a written explanation for the objections on the two names.

Mr M Kekana (ANC) agreed with Ms Van Schalkwyk. He recalled that Ms Van Dyk did not object on the day of the nominations and asked that the names be listed according to the scoring given to each by the Members.

Ms Van Dyk indicated that her objections were because Mr Lumko Mtimde did not provide a satisfactory response to the question on what his view was on the media tribunal. His response seemed to infringe on freedom of speech. She indicated that an ANC Member sitting next to her during the interviews also gave her opinion on the candidate.

The Chairperson said these reservations would be noted.

Ms Van Schalkwyk asked that Ms Van Dyk withdraw the reference to remarks made by an ANC Member because she was not present to defend whatever statement she might have made. Ms Van Dyk could not make comments on Members from another political party.

The Chairperson said it was not fair that a candidate be judged on a question which no other candidate was asked. However the objection would be captured.

Mr Davis said he would not comment on the subcommittee because he was not part of the interviews. He added that Mr Thamsanqa Ntenteni was put forward as a candidate for the Media Development Diversity Agency, and aain for the ICASA Council - would this not cause a conflict of interest if he also served on the latter as it issued licenses to community radio stations?

The Chairperson said the Committee had checked this and cautioned that there could not be an SABC and an ICASA member on the same council.

Ms O Matshoba (ANC) said the report should be adopted with the Committee’s reservations noted.

Mr Kekana seconded the adoption of the report.

The Report was duly adopted.

The meeting was adjourned. 


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