ATC200605: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on the filling of six vacancies in the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Council, dated 4 June 2020

Communications

[The following report replaces the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications, which was published on page 1 of the Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports dated 13 May 2020]

 

 

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on the filling of six vacancies in the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Council, dated 4 June 2020

 

The Portfolio Committee on Communications (the Committee), having considered requests from the Minster of Communications and the Acting Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) to fill five vacancies in the ICASA Council, reports as follows:

 

A letter dated 6 August 2019 was received from the Minister of Communications –

(a) informing the National Assembly of the existence of a vacancy on the ICASA Council as a result of the removal of Mr Rubben Mohlaloga as a Councillor and Chairperson of the Council; and

(b) requesting the National Assembly to commence with the process of filling the vacancy in terms of section 5 of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act, 2000 (Act No 13 of 2000) (“ICASA Act”).

 

Another letter dated 7 August 2019 was received from the Acting Speaker of the National Assembly –

(a) informing the Minister of Communications and the Committee that four vacancies would arise in April 2020 as a result of the end of term of the following Councillors: Mr Paris Mashile, Ms Botlenyana Mokhele, Mr Peter Zimri and Mr Keabetswe Modimoeng; and

(b) informing the Minister of Communications that the National Assembly would commence with the process of identifying candidates to fill the four vacancies in terms of section 5 of the ICASA Act.

 

The Committee considered the letters from the Minister of Communications and the Acting Speaker of the National Assembly and resolved that the committee secretariat should proceed with the process of publishing an advertisement in the media calling for the nomination of persons to fill the five vacancies on the ICASA Council. The advertisement was published in all eleven official languages in two national newspapers, two regional newspapers and seven community media newspapers. Seventy-five nominations were received.

 

On 11 February 2020, the Committee met to consider the criteria and skills required to fill the five vacancies and unanimously resolved that the following 20 candidates be shortlisted for interviews:

 

Ms Botlenyana Mokhele; Mr Peter Zimri; Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng; Mr Edmund Baloyi; Ms Yolisa Kedama; Mr Ashraf Patel; Mr Sipho Tsotetsi; Ms Sandisiwe Ncemane; Ms Zamokuhle Khanyile; Mr Junior Khumalo; Dr Charles Lewis; Mr Zolani Matthews; Ms Dikeledi Mushi; Ms Nompucuko Nontombana; Mr Lebogang Bopalamo; Mr Kenilworth Choeu; Ms Amanda Cuba; Adv Luthando Mkumatela; Mr Phosa Mashangoane and Mr Linden Petzer.

 

As the Committee was preparing for the interviews, a letter was received from Mr Sipho Tsotetsi to inform the Committee of his withdrawal from the process. On 25, 26 and 27 February 2020, the Committee interviewed 18 candidates, with an exception of Ms Mokhele who could not attend the interview due to ill health. She was later interviewed by means of a virtual meeting platform on 4 May 2020.

On 11 May 2020, the Committee deliberated on the interviews taking into consideration the skills of current Councillors, skills required for the incoming Councillors as well as issues of continuity in leadership of ICASA and unanimously recommended that the National Assembly approve the following eight names from which the Minister should appoint five as ICASA Councillors in order of priority: Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, Ms Yolisa Kedama, Ms Zolani Kgosietsile Matthews, Mr Peter Zimri, Adv. Luthando Mkutumela, Dr Charles Lewis, Ms Amanda Cuba, and Ms Sandisiwe Ncemane.

 

During the processing of the above-mentioned recommendation of the Committee, another letter, dated 12 May 2020, was received from the Acting Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Mr JM Mthembu, MP informing the National Assembly of the resignation of Ms Nomonde Gongxeka-Seopa, a councillor on the ICASA Council, with effect from 11 April 2020 with the notice period ending on 11 July 2020; and requesting the National Assembly to initiate a process of filing the vacancy in terms of the ICASA Act.

 

On Friday, 29 May 2020, the Committee met to consider the referral of the request by the Acting Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies relating to the vacancy in the ICASA Council and resolved that the vacancy which arose as a result of the resignation of Ms Gongxeka-Seopa be filled together with the other five vacancies, subject to a legal opinion on the matter before proceeding.

 

On 4 June 2020, the Committee met to consider the referral together with the legal opinion and resolved that:

 

  1. two additional suitable candidates from the interviewed candidates be added to ensure that the amended report contains ten names, being at least one and a half times the number of the vacancies;
  2. the National Assembly approve the following ten names from which the Minister should appoint six persons as ICASA Councillors in order of priority, for a full four-year term: Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, Ms Yolisa Kedama, Ms Zolani Kgosietsile Matthews, Mr Peter Zimri, Adv. Luthando Mkutumela, Dr Charles Lewis, Ms Amanda Cuba, Ms Sandisiwe Ncemane, Ms Dikeledi Mushi and Mr Ashraf Patel, taking into consideration that section 9(2)(b) of the ICASA Act provides that a Councillor is appointed to hold office for the rest of the period of the predecessor's term of office, if the Minister, acting on the recommendation of the National Assembly, appoints such Councillor for a longer period which may not exceed four years; and
  3. the previous report of the Committee published in the Announcement, Tablings and Committee Reports (ATC) document on 13 May 2020 (ATC No. 52 – 2020) be rescinded and replaced with this amended report.

 

Report to be considered.

 

 

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