Election of Committee Chairperson; Committee Programme

Appointment of the Auditor General

24 June 2020
Chairperson: Ms N Tolashe (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Audio: Election of Committee Chairperson; Committee Programme 

The Ad Committee convened to firstly elect its Chairperson. Ms N Tolashe (ANC) was elected unopposed. Members united in congratulating her on the appointment. The Chairperson thanked Members for entrusting her with this important task. The Committee is mandated with nominating an individual as the Auditor-General of SA. The term of the incumbent ends on 30 November 2020.

Members then considered its programme for its mandate. The first task was for Members to submit feedback on the advert by 28 June 2020. The advert would be published by 3 July and run for two weeks. Members would begin shortlisting by 30 July and interviews would take place on 18 August. Finally, the Committee Report on the nomination would be finalised by 25 August 2020.

Members remarked that the programme was tight. They suggested a Human Resources official be included in the shortlisting process. It was also suggested Members think of the possibility that interviews might not be able to conduct interviews physically given the Corona Virus outbreak.

The Committee programme was adopted.

The advert would be circulated to Members immediately after the meeting for their input before publishing.


Meeting report

Election of Chairperson

The Committee Secretary opened the meeting and called for nominations for Chairperson.

Ms D Dlakude (ANC) moved for the nomination of Ms N Tolashe (ANC).

Mr S Buthelezi (ANC) seconded the nomination of Ms Tolashe.

Ms Tolashe was duly elected as Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee as there were no further nominations.

Chairperson Remarks

The newly-elected Chairperson accepted the nomination. She was humbled by the responsibility conferred on her and committed to do her best to ensure the Committee collectively succeeded in appointing the best Auditor-General (AG), having followed all due process. She committed to going the extraordinary mile to ensure the Committee succeeded in this task. 

Committee Programme

The Committee Content Advisor took Members through the proposed programme for the Committee to achieve it mandate, namely, nomination of the next Auditor-General of SA. The draft advert calling for nominations for the AGSA would be circulated to Members for their input. Once this advert was approved by Members, it would be published in the national newspapers. The draft programme proposed this occur by 3 July 2020. The advert would run for two weeks until 17 July 2020. Thereafter, the Committee would sort through the applicants and develop a shortlist – shortlisting is expected to occur by 30 July 2020. Candidates would then be interviewed (18 August 2020) and the final selected candidate would be vetted. It is expected Members would then deliberate on the interviews on 20 August and a report on the final nomination would be ready by 25 August 2020.

The Chairperson thanked the support staff for finalising the programme on behalf of the Committee. She invited Members to make inputs on the programme.

Mr N Singh (IFP) congratulated the Chairperson on her appointment to this very important Committee. He felt a sense of déjà vu as seven years ago, he sat on the previous Ad Hoc Committee which nominated the name of the current AGSA.  He appreciated that God has spared him to serve on this Committee again.  He accepted the broad framework of the Committee programme although he anticipated the need for possible adjustments as the timeframes were quite tight. On the sifting of applicants and development of a shortlist, he suggested the inclusion of someone from Human Resources (HR) as someone of that nature would be au fait with such selection processes. He said it is better to plan earlier than later in that it may not be possible for the Committee to physically interview candidates and so Members should start applying their minds on how to best conduct interviews virtually – the Committee needs to consider whether one day was sufficient for such virtual interviews.

The Chairperson was pleased that the Committee would be able to draw on the wisdom and expertise of Mr Singh.

Ms Dlakude congratulated the Chairperson on her appointment. She agreed with the proposed programme but felt the time of meetings should be added. Given that 28 June was a Sunday, a time must be allocated for the meeting to finalise the advert because while the schedule of the Committee was tight, Members need to make time to be with their families as it was a Sunday.  Members need to know if the meeting would be scheduled for the morning or afternoon to then make the necessary arrangements.

Mr S Somyo (ANC) congratulated the Chairperson on her appointment. He agreed to the programme acknowledging that the last day of the incumbent was 30 November 2020. He agreed with the suggestion that HR expertise be included in the shortlist process and possibly other elements of the appointment process.

Mr Singh asked whether the Committee could spend a few minutes going through the advert now as going through it on a Sunday might be a bit difficult for some. Does the date of 28 June on the programme, for finalisation of the feedback on the advert, refer to a physical meeting? How else could Members send feedback?

The Committee Secretary clarified a meeting would not take place on Sunday – the date of 28 June was when it was expected Members would submit their inputs on the advert. This could be sent to the Secretary via email. The advert was fairly standard but it was important for the Committee to take ownership of it and add anything Members wished. The advert would be circulated today and Members would have until Sunday, 28 June, to submit inputs to the Secretary. The Chairperson would then sign off on the advert, with the inclusion of any feedback Members may have. Members would again have sight of the final advert before it was submitted for publication.

Ms D Peters (ANC) congratulated the Chairperson on her important appointment. She asked the Secretary to be clear on whether a meeting would take place on 28 June or not. She also asked if the advert to be circulated to Members was different to the one already sent in preparation for today’s meeting. She would find it a bit odd if a better version of the advert would only come after the meeting today. She was a bit confused and sought clarity.

Mr J De Villiers (DA) also congratulated the Chairperson on the serious task. He supported the suggestion that Members receive the advert as soon as possible, before the end of the day, so that there was adequate time to prepare feedback. The programme is time-sensitive so it is important that the advert be published soon after 28 June 2020.

The Committee Secretary clarified that there is no need for a meeting on Sunday, 28 June 2020. Members could submit their input on the advert electronically by this date. There is not a huge difference between the advert already sent to Members and the one due to be circulated immediately after the meeting – the latter is better in terms of appearance however the core content was the same.

Ms Dlakude thought the matter was now clear and the Committee could move to the next item.

Ms Peters seconded the motion.

The Chairperson thanked Members for their contributions. The Committee would work as a strong, skilled and experienced team which would succeed.

The meeting was adjourned.



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