National Lotteries Commission Chairperson appointment; Committee Report on Trade & Industry Budget

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Trade and Industry

19 May 2017
Chairperson: Ms J Fubbs (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met for the formal consideration of Budget Vote Report; and consideration of Candidate for position of Chairperson of the Board of the National Lotteries Commission.

Members proposed that the report on page 5 should be clear that the country will always be exporting and importing natural resources but the priority will be on reducing the imports. There was also a proposal that there should be a longer-term view of 5-10 years on incentives offered to multiple clusters or sectors, to individuals or entities. The report should also be clear that the objective of offering the incentives was to promote industrialisation, broadening and deepening the industrial base and broadening participation in the economy.
The report was adopted with amendments.

The Committee also considered candidate for position of Chairperson of the Board of the National Lotteries Commission. The DA recommended Mr William Huma to serve as the Chairperson of the Commission while all ANC Members recommended the incumbent Chairperson, Prof Alfred Nevhutanda.

Members wanted to know about the process that was undertaken in the short-listing of all candidates in order to ensure that there was transparency in the process followed. The Committee should ask the Department to provide a documented report to the Committee on the process that was undertaken moving from 111 candidates to 37 and then only 3 short listed candidates. There were also concerns that the incumbent Chairperson had been serving on the Board since December 2009 and the Act limited serving on the Board to 10 years. In essence, this meant that if the Committee recommended the incumbent Chairperson, then it will have to go through this process again in one and half years. It was also highlighted that the Committee should be clear to the Minister that the incumbent Chairperson should serve only the remainder of the legislative term. 

Meeting report

Adoption of the Budget Vote Report

The Chairperson expressed concern about the absence of EFF and IFP Members, they would be marked as absent. This was an important meeting and therefore all Members needed to be present in order to formally adopt the Budget Vote Report.
The report on page 5, second paragraph, should be clear that the country will always be exporting and importing natural resources but the priority will be on reducing the imports.

Mr D Macpherson (DA) proposed there should be a longer-term view of 5-10 years on incentives offered to multiple clusters or sectors, to individuals or entities. The report should also be clear that the objective of offering the incentives was to promote industrialisation, broadening and deepening the industrial base and broadening participation in the economy.

The Chairperson agreed that indeed there should be a longer-term view on incentives offered to industries as reflected on page 13 of the report.
There was general consensus on the budget that had been allocated to the Department.

The report was adopted with amendments.

Consideration of Candidate for position of Chairperson of the Board of the National Lotteries Commission

The Chairperson asked Members to focus on the candidates for the position of Chairperson of the Board of the National Lotteries Commission.

Mr Macpherson asked about the process that was undertaken in the short-listing of all candidates in order to ensure that there was transparency in the process being followed. The Committee should ask the Department to provide a documented report to the Committee on the process that had been undertaken moving from 111 candidates to 37 and then only 3 short-listed candidates.

Mr M Kalako (ANC) clarified that the Committee would be given an opportunity to scrutinise the process that had been followed. The understanding was that the Department was following its own process that was different to the one that was being followed by the Department where there is a presence of the media in the interview process. There is certainly no crime in asking the Department to provide the Committee with the report on the process that had been followed in the short-listing of candidates.

Mr Macpherson maintained that the Committee should be provided with the report that will clearly explain the rationale that was followed in short listing candidates.

The Chairperson explained that the Committee had already asked the Department to provide a report on the 17 candidates that were initially short-listed. Currently three candidates had been short-listed. The candidates were all asked similar questions so as to ensure that there was fairness in how they will be tested and appointed. The candidates will be judged on a number of factors including how they performed during the interview and how they answered the questions and also other relevant expertise. She then asked Members to comment on the three candidates left and their suitability for the position of Chairperson.

Mr G Hill-Lewis (DA) recommended Mr William Huma as he scored 82 out of 100 during the interview process. The individual was highly qualified, educated and experienced as he had served on a number of boards. It would be prudent for the Committee to recommend Mr Huma as he was able to articulate himself very well during the interview, exuded confidence and ability to perform complex tasks. The way Mr Huma was able to answer some of the complicated questions proved that he was knowledgeable about the sector. Mr Hill-Lewis highlighted that he had sat on the Gambling Review Commission but was not aware of some of the responses that were provided by Mr Huma during the interview.

Ms S Van Schalkwyk (ANC) agreed that Mr Huma performed well during the interview but seemed as if the candidate had an opportunity to see the questions posed to the candidates before the interview. It was also concerning to notice that Mr Huma lacked an important aspect of community development. The incumbent Chairperson, Prof Alfred Nevhutanda was the recommended candidate as he was knowledgeable and experienced and had the aspect of community involvement. Mr Huma also looked like he was “too busy” at the moment, as he was also serving on several other boards.

Mr Macpherson maintained that he preferred Mr Huma as he was highly educated, knowledgeable of the sector and experienced on legislation. The Committee should refrain from saying that Mr Huma was “too busy” as he was clear that if he were to be appointed he would immediately resign from other positions he was holding.

Mr Kalako also recommended the incumbent Chairperson, as he was able to turnaround the Commission within a short space of time. Prof Nevhutanda also ensured that the budget allocation for the Commission was able to go directly to where it was planned or budgeted for and this was something that seemed to be lacking from Mr Huma. Mr Huma appeared to be more business minded and this could pose a major challenge to the Commission. The fact that Mr Huma was serving on another Board could also be problematic as individuals often take time to resign from their positions.

The Chairperson clarified that Mr Huma might not have seen the questions before the interview maybe he was just well prepared. Mr Huma came across as highly experienced, qualified and as a person with integrity. Mr Huma even achieved several cum laude and this showed that he was a dedicated individual. However, it was concerning to notice that Mr Huma did not have enough experience in the position of dispersing funds.

Mr Hill-Lewis pointed out that it was unfair for the Committee to say that Mr Huma was “too busy” as the incumbent Chairperson was also serving on four other boards. The incumbent Chairperson had been serving on the Board since December 2009 and the Act limits the number of serving in the Board to 10 years. In essence, this meant that if the Committee recommended the incumbent Chairperson then it will have to go through this process again in one and half year. The Committee should get “new blood” and an individual that had not served on the Board before.

The Chairperson indicated that there is a consensus that that Mr Abel Mawela should not be considered as a preferred candidate.                                          
Mr B Radebe (ANC) commented that the preferred candidate should be savvy about the process of dispersing funds as the Act was amended for this very reason.

The Chairperson suggested that the Committee should go through the normal procedure of voting for the preferred candidate to be nominated. The Act is clear that the Committee should recommend only one candidate to serve as Chairperson on the Commission.

Mr Hills-Lewis and Mr Macpherson recommended Mr Huma to serve as the Chairperson of the Commission of the National Lotteries Commission.

All six ANC Members recommended that the incumbent Chairperson be retained in the position.

The Chairperson said the Committee should be clear to the Minister that the incumbent Chairperson should serve only the remainder of the legislative term.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

 

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