The ANC welcomes adoption of four Committee Reports and three Bills by the National Assembly at its Penultimate Sitting

19 March 2019

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip is pleased with the adoption of four committee reports and three bills as agreed to by the National Assembly at its penultimate plenary session today before rising as the 5th Parliament tomorrow, 20 March 2019.

The Portfolio Committee on Communications tabled two reports, one recommending eight candidates to fill vacancies on the board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and the other recommending the removal of the Chairperson of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).

The NA also considered and adopted two Ad Hoc Committee reports, namely, the Interim Report of the Ad Hoc Committee to Amend Section 25 of the Constitution and the Ad Hoc Committee on the Filling of vacancies at the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE).

1. Report on SABC Board vacancies:

We welcome the endorsement of Ms Jasmina Patel, Ms Mary Pappaya, Adv Motshedi Benjamin Lekalakala, Ms Mamoduphi Mohlala-Mulaudzi, Ms Bernedette Muthien, Dr Marcia Socikwa, Prof Sathsivan Cooper and Mr David Maimela to fill the vacancies on the SABC Board.

This pool of candidates possesses the necessary diversity of qualifications, knowledge and experience to turn the SABC around. Their collective skills base includes corporate governance, legal services, financial management, journalism and communications, research and broadcasting administration.

Given that the recent resignations from the board have impaired the board’s ability to function properly, we trust that this collective will be able to hit the ground running with immediate effect.

The names of the eight candidates will be sent to the President in terms of the Broadcasting Act for consideration and appointment before they take up their positions on the board.

2. Removal of ICASA Chairperson:

The National Assembly also adopted a resolution to remove the Chairperson of ICASA, Mr Reuben Mohlaloga.

Mr Mohlaloga’s removal is informed by the fact that he was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for defrauding the Land Bank of about R6 million when he was the Chairperson of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Agriculture.

In terms of Section 6 (1) (i) of the ICASA Act, a person may not be appointed as a councilor if he or she has at any time been convicted of theft, fraud or corruption. Therefore, Mr Mohlaloga’s conviction and sentencing disqualifies him from serving as the chairperson or a councilor of ICASA.

We hope that this decision will send a very strong message to those who seek to defraud public institutions for their narrow self-enrichment. Fraud and corruption steals from the poor and those found to be involved in such activities, must face the full might of the law as we have witnessed in this instance. The ANC therefore welcomes this resolution to remove Mr Mohlaloga.

3. Report on Commission for Gender Equality (CGE):

On 11 September 2018, the National Assembly resolved to establish an Ad Hoc Committee to identify suitable candidates for the filling of vacancies at the CGE.

The CGE is mandated to promote the protection, development and attainment of gender equality through undertaking research, public education, policy development, legislative initiatives, and effective monitoring and litigation.

The National Assembly overwhelmingly endorsed Ms Lindiwe Octavia Ntuli-Tloubatla, Ms Jennifer Smout, Mr Mbuyiselo Botha, Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, Ms O’Hara Ngoma-Diseko, Ms Nomasonto Grace Mazibuko, Ms Dibeela Gertrude Mothupi and Busisiwe Deyifor appointment as CGE Commissioners.

These candidates demonstrated the necessary commitment to the promotion of gender equality and the required knowledge of gender practices, and legislative framework and principles. We are confident that this pool of candidates will serve the CGE with distinction and take forward the struggle for gender equality in South Africa.

The list of candidates will be sent to the President for consideration for appointment in accordance with the Constitution and the Commission for Gender Equality Act.

4. Interim Report of Ad Hoc Committee to Amend Section 25:

The Interim Report of the Ad Hoc Committee to amend Section 25 of the Constitution was overwhelmingly adopted today. The Ad Hoc Committee was established in December 2018 following a resolution of the NA that an Ad Hoc Committee be established to initiate and introduce legislation to amend Section 25 of the Constitution “to make explicit that which is implicit in the Constitution, with regards to expropriation of land without compensation.”

Upon establishment, the Committee embarked on extensive consultations with various stakeholders including Parliament’s Legal Services on the legislative process of a Constitutional amendment as well as briefings by a panel of experts made up of Mr MV Moosa, Retired Judge A. Sachs, Prof. R Hall, Mr P Meakin, Adv. W Trengove, Adv. T Ngcukaitobi, and Acting Valuer General. The Panel advised the Committee on their different proposals on how to go about the Constitutional amendment ranging from proposals on land reform, restitution and redistribution.

The adopted report essentially notes that the task of amending section 25 of the Constitution cannot be concluded during this parliamentary term and the house therefore resolved that this matter be concluded by the 6th Parliament.

The ANC remains committed to its resolution of the expropriation of land without compensation as one of the mechanism to address the original sin of land dispossession and landlessness in South Africa. We are confident that the 6th Parliament will conclude this process of correcting this original sin.

5. Legislation:

The National Assembly also considered and adopted the Public Audit Excess Fee Bill [B7-2019] which provides that the specified excess of the audit fee of certain categories of organs of state, payable to the Auditor-General, as envisaged in the Public Audit Act, 2004, is, if the stated conditions are complied with, a direct charge against the National Revenue Fund.

Other bills considered and adopted are the Public Service Commission Amendment Bill [B21D – 2015] and the Films and Publications Amendment Bill [B37D – 2015] which were previously passed by the NA and sent to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for concurrence. After consideration, the NCOP sent these Bills back to the NA to effect further amendments. Both Bills will be sent to the President for ascendance.

Issued by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip, comrade Jackson Mthembu.

Nonceba Mhlauli