Technology Innovation Agency Board of Directors: consideration of short-listed candidates; Committee 2008 Annual Report

Science and Technology

17 March 2009
Chairperson: Mr G Oliphant (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Science and Technology was represented by Mr D M Moagi ( Deputy Director General ).The Committee preferred 15 candidates. The list of the preferred candidates would be debated and approved by the National Assembly on the 24 March 2009. The final decision would be taken by the Department. The Democratic Alliance expressed concerns regarding Dr Cornelius and Mr Venter.


Meeting report

The Committee acknowledged that the process of selection was a very difficult one and that it was the first time that the Committee was involved in this process. They also highlighted some pitfalls such as fully scrutinizing candidates’ other commitments that may affect their commitment to the Board Agency. It was also noted that the following five members were serving on the current Board

1. Mr Alan Lax

2 Mr Ross H R Norton

3. Dr Steven T Conerlius

4. Mrs Hellen Brown

5. Prof Susan Harrison

The Committee agreed to nominate the following 10 candidates

1. Dr Mamphele Ramphele

2. Ms Cheryl Carolus

3. Mr Alan Lax

4. Mr Ross H R Norton

5. Dr Steven T Conerlius

6. Mrs Hellen Brown

7. Prof Susan Harrison

8. Mr Gordon Craig Venter

9. Dr Patrick Ngwenya

10. Dr Msomi Nhlanhla Sobantu

The following five candidates were preferred to serve as reservists

11. Dr Iqbal Surve

12. Prof. Adam Rom Martin

13. Dr Michael Oswald Albers

14. Mrs Fatima Vawda

15. Mr Samuel M Mphomela


Mr S Farow (DA) expressed concerns on the nomination of Dr Cornelius and Mr Venter, citing that Dr Cornelius was from the Department of Science and Technology and Mr Venter owned private businesses in the country and abroad, which might create conflicts of interest. He further suggested that detailed background information was required for the Committee

Mr J Blanche (DA) concurred with Mr Farrow and added that he would prefer to consider people from outside the Department. He suggested that Dr Cornelius name should be struck off and replaced by Mr Atul Gupta who was number 15 on the candidates list.

Ms L Maloney (ANC) suggested that Committee should set criteria guided by the stipulations of the law and not do what it thought.

The Chairperson emphasized that the intention of the Committee was to add continuity of the current Board, but also to add new blood.

Ms B Ngcobo (ANC) suggested that reshuffling and replacements be left with the Department that would have the final say.

Mr A Anislie (ANC) argued that Mr Venter had not failed the business under his stewardship. He said Mr Venter had expertise that could be utilized in the Board Agency.

Mr B Mnyandu (ANC) differed from Mr Farrow. He believed there was a convergence of interest and not a conflict of interests as suggested by Mr Farrow. He said if the Committee was looking for any possible area of conflict of interest it would have found it.

Ms B Ngcobo said that it was the first time the Committee was exposed to this type of work. If there were any flaws, she suggested that the Committee should work within the law that governed the process.

The DA asked the Committee to reserve Dr Cornelius and Mr Venter.

Adoption of Committee report and minutes

The Committee adopted the minutes dated 24 October 2008 and the 2008 Annual Report with no amendments.

The meeting was adjourned


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