Election of Chairperson and discussion of procedure for filling vacancies

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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report



22 April 1998


The committee elected Ms Nozizwe Routledge (ANC) as chairperson and proceeded to discuss the nominations process. It was agreed that the adverts calling for nominations had not been widely placed. There was specific concern at the exclusive use of the print media given the general understanding that women as a group tend to listen to the radio. The committee resolved to extend the closing date for nominations and to ensure that radio was used to advertise the positions.

The committee elected Ms Nozizwe Routledge (ANC) as chairperson

The chairperson stated that as today was the closing date for nominations, there was no list of nominations available yet.

A member (ANC) said that during the last process when the committee had to appoint Gender Commissioners, women’s groups raised a concern that the adverts calling for nominations were not published to a wide enough audience. More specifically, they were only placed in the print media and not on the radio. The women’s groups had felt that advertising on the radio was necessary because women as a group tend to listen to the radio more than read newspapers. She than asked for information on how where the advertisements were placed for the filling of the present vacancies.

The committee secretary said the adverts were handled by the Department of Justice. There were adverts in three newspapers; two of these being the Sunday Times and Die Burger; and a notice in the Government Gazette.

At this point, the Chairperson mentioned that in dealing with nominations received after the closing date, the date on the postage stamp or fax sheet would be referred to.

A member (ANC) said that although the committee should not delay the process, it is clear that the positions were not advertised widely enough. He proposed that the committee should agree to delay the process.

Ms Smuts (DP) suggested that the committee resolve to extend the closing date for nominations, but ensure that the extension and the adverts are done according to the provisions in the Commission on Gender Equality Act. The committee should not consider nominations received after the extended closing date.

A member (NP) expressed concern at the newspapers which were chosen, pointing out as an example that Die Burger was not necessarily the most widely read newspaper within the Afrikaans community. She also stated that she was worried that the advertisements and their placing did not comply with the Act.

A member (ANC) stated that the situation was totally unacceptable, especially after the committee had raised its concerns about the last appointment process with the Department of Justice.

Ms De Lille (PAC) suggested that the committee inform major women’s organisations about the extended closing date. The committee discussed this suggestion and agreed that they would inform all the umbrella bodies such as the Women’s Coalition, Rural Women’s Network, NGO Coalition, Women’s Bureau. Ms Smuts (DP) stated that it was important for the committee to ensure that they do not leave out any umbrella bodies.

The chairperson summed up what the committee had decided:

To extend the closing date for nominations

To advertise more widely

To contact women’s groups umbrella bodies

To check the legal implications of the extension

A member (ANC) stated that the committee should not leave the question on how to cast the advertisement net, to the Department of Justice. He suggested further that the committee place adverts in their constituency offices.

Ms Smuts (DP) expressed concern at the use of constituency offices due to the possibility of party political influence.

It was said that because adverts on the radio are costly, it would be a better idea for the chairperson to get interview slots on radio programs.

Mr Feinstein (ANC) asked if it would be possible to get copies of the Act, a list from the Department of Justice stating what they have done so far, and copies of the advertisements. The chairperson said that this would be organised.

The chairperson clarified that there were three vacancies to be filled. Two were full time positions while one was part-time. The Act provided that the Commission must consist of no more than 11 Commissioners and no less than 7. As far as full time Commissioners were concerned, there must be no more than 7 and no less than 2.

The meeting was closed.


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