PMG was not present at the meeting. The below is compiled based on the Committee’s official minutes adopted on 3 December 2019.
NOTE: PMG was not present at the meeting. The below is compiled based on the Committee’s official minutes adopted on 3 December 2019
The Chairperson opened the meeting and welcomed everyone present and allowed for brief introductions.
Committee minutes dated 12 November 2019
The Chairperson tabled the minutes which were considered and adopted.
Draft Committee Report
The Chairperson tabled the report which was considered and adopted with amendments.
Committee minutes dated 18 November 2019
The Chairperson tabled the minutes which were considered and adopted with amendments.
Shortlisting of candidates for the position of the Western Cape Commissioner for Children
The Committee discussed the guidelines for shortlisting of candidates for position of the candidate of Western Cape Commissioner for Children. The Committee agreed on the following criteria for shortlisting:
The Committee agreed that Members, in the interest of time in view of some Members not prepared for shortlisting, assess and score candidates on their own however the Committee agreed to finalise interview questions and those Members should submit their signed scoring forms and electronic versions to the Procedural Officer by 26 November 2019 at 11 o’clock for the latest.
Members also agreed to consider each and every applicant to avoid any challenges and disputes that might arise in the future.
The Committee further developed the following key shortlisting criteria as the baseline for shortlisting of candidates:
a) 1 – no experience or competency
b) 2 – limited experience or competency
c) 3 – satisfactory experience or competency
d) 4 – more than satisfactory experience or competence
e) 5 – exceptional or outstanding experience or competence
The Committee discussed the ten objections received on the nominated candidates. The Members agreed the objections need to have credibility and merits. The Committee agreed the objections should only be considered and deliberated on after the shortlisting process is finalized. Members noted that some of the objected candidates might not even be shortlisted if they do not meet the criteria and discussing the objections upfront might be fruitless. However should candidates with objections be shortlisted, the Committee would also pose questions on the objection during the interview. The Committee agreed there may be customized questions for candidates.
Questions for the interview
The Committee drafted the following questions for the interview:
1. What is your understanding of the Children’s Commissioner?
2. How do you envisage this role working with the Western Cape Provincial Government to make sure the rights of children are protected?
3. How do you communicate the role of the Children’s’ Commissioner to the people of the Western Cape and South Africa at large?
4. What value does your previous job experience add to the role of the Children’s Commissioner?
5. In your own understanding, which government departments are tasked with delivering the constitutional rights to the children? How will you engage with these departments to ascertain if they are delivering?
6. How will you find out at the grassroots level which children are the most vulnerable and in need of your intervention on their behalf?
7. What steps will you take when you find out that a child or whole community of children are being deprived of their constitutional rights and to ascertain what different government departments are doing?
8. Are you aware of the fire shortage of child care centres for disruptive behavior in the Western Cape? What would you do to make more child care centres available for children to be placed?
9. What do you know about child trafficking of children in the Western Cape, where mothers are renting their children to the shoplifting syndicates, how will you assist these children that are arrested and mothers that are not prosecuted?
10. are you aware of Family Violence Sexual Offences Unit (FCS), within the SA Police Service, having logistical and resource shortages to follow up on the reported sexual abuse cases and the challenge of DNA samples going missing? How can you assist the FCS?
11. there is a lack of state-funded counselling for abused children as ChildLine and Safeline have three months waiting lists. How will you change this?
12. how can we make the education system more accessible for children with special needs?
13. how can we breach the gap between the Children’s Act and the proper implementation therefore on ground level?
14. what experience do you have in setting up a large, newly-established office in budgeting and managing staff?
15. given that monitoring and reporting are the aspects of the Commissioner, how would you go about raising awareness to the departments and executive what monitoring tools will be implemented?
16. how would you manage a situation where government departments or the executive do ot want to cooperate with the office of the Commissioner?
17. how would you defend the integrity of the Children’s Commissioner and how will you protect the functional independence of the Commissioner?
18. how do you bridge the gap between the Children’s Act and its proper implementation on ground level?
19. what would you prioritise in respect of making sure that children’s rights are protected?
20. how will you engage with NGOs and other relevant stakeholders to encourage more public-private partnerships?
New matters for discussion
Referral of the Child Justice Amendment Bill [B32-2018] section 75 (NCOP)
The Chairperson tabled the Child Justice Amendment Bill [B32-2018] section 75 (NCOP). He indicated that each Member has received a copy of this Bill. The Members need to familiarise themselves with the content of the Bill.
The Committee RESOLVED that:
a) all candidates should meet a minimum requirement of three, which is satisfactory experience or competence to be shortlisted
b) Committee Members are to motivate for their score allocation for each candidate
c) a minimum of 15 – 20 candidates will be shortlisted
d) each candidate will be requested to provide the Committee with an ID-sized picture, short biography, and motivation on why they think they are suitable for the position of Children Commissioner. This information would be published on the WCPP website and would be accessed by the public
e) the Committee is to ask the WCPP Security and Facility Management Office to assist with criminal clearance of all shortlisted candidates
f) during interviews, Members will have to assess what candidates tell the panel and probe the answers provided by asking follow-up questions
g) due to the fact that the office of the Commissioner is a public office, funded with taxpayers’ money and the Western Cape government promotes transparency and openness, the proceedings of interviews will be open to members of the public for observing however only Members of the Committee will pose questions during interviews
The meeting was adjourned.
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