Deputy Speaker, Deputy President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and colleagues, it is indeed a great pleasure to present this report on the consideration for appointment of the Media Development and Diversity Agency, MDDA, board member.
As we all know, the MDDA was established in terms of the Media Development and Diversity Agency Act of 2002. It was given the responsibility to transform media in general, both broadcast media and print media. However, we took note that broadcasting is regulated, whilst print media has a self- regulatory mechanism. As a matter of fact, this led to the unequal or uneven development in transformation in respect of the two spectrums of media.
In terms of the Media Development and Diversity Agency Act, Parliament is to recommend the appointment of a board member to the President. After approval by the President, such board member can be appointed. MDDA has nine board members; six are appointed by Parliament and the other three are appointed by the President in consultation with both print and broadcasting media as a sector.
In terms of the requirements and processes that Parliament must follow, the first process is to allow the participation of the public in the nomination process; transparency and openness; and the publication of shortlisted candidates for appointment with due regard to subsection 4 and section 5 of the Media Development and Diversity Agency Act. I would like to take this opportunity to take you through the process that led to the recommendation of the person's name that we will be putting to this House for recommendation to the President for appointment. The vacancy was referred to the committee on 14 August 2013. Thereafter, the committee advertised the vacant board position in the weekend of 8 September 2013, for which the closing date was Friday, 4 October 2013. All in all the committee received 28 nominations for the MDDA board. On 31 October 2013 the committee met and shortlisted the following candidates: Ms Noxolo Mtana, Ms Nosipho Kota, Mr Roland Williams, Mr Howard Plaatjes and Mr Ratha Ramatlhape.
On 5 November 2013 the committee interviewed all five candidates. After the interviews it recommended that Mr Roland Williams be appointed to the MDDA board. However, during that process some members of the committee raised the issue that the member recommended was at one time suspended from his employment. After receiving that query, I investigated the matter and accordingly referred it back to the member who raised the matter. Indeed, Mr Roland Williams was suspended, but no charge had been laid against him. He was suspended for more than three months and thereafter the suspension was lifted without a single charge indicating why he was suspended. As the ANC, we felt that we were comfortable with the candidate, because nothing untoward was found relating to this matter after having received the full report from the relevant bargaining council. I must take this opportunity to thank all committee members, the support staff and everyone who participated in the process. If this House accepts our recommendation and appoints Mr Roland Williams, I wish to take this opportunity to wish him all the best in his new role. We also hope that he is going to work well with the other MDDA board members. I would like to commend this report to this House for consideration and adoption. I thank you. [Applause.]
There was no debate.
Question put: That the House recommend Mr Roland Williams for appointment to the Media Development and Diversity Agency Board.
Declarations of vote: