The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry was yesterday briefed by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel, on the extension of the term of the Acting Chairperson of the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) Board until the process to appoint a permanent board chairperson is concluded.
The NLC Board has been without a permanent chairperson since November last year when the term of the previous Chairperson came to an end. The position has been filled on a short-term acting basis, pending the appointment of a permanent board chairperson.
Minister Patel told the committee that the latest acting period came to an end yesterday (March 31), and the Minister asked for advice from the committee on the legality of appointing an acting chairperson.
He told the committee that the Lotteries Act does not deal expressly with how and by whom a member of the board can be appointed acting chairperson. The board charter is not a relevant document for this matter, as it only addresses instances where a chairperson exists but is not available for a particular meeting.
The committee made suggestions for the Minister to note when considering the acting chairperson position. These include the extension of the term of the existing Acting Chairperson, Ms Zandile Brown, or appointing someone else from the NLC board or someone from outside the board.
The committee raised concerns about relations between the Minister and the NLC board. They suggested more engagements between the two parties, and to act consistently with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act.
"As a committee we have given an indication of what our thoughts are. We also encourage a more engaging process between the Minister and the board to ensure things are done in a manner that creates a stable and developmental space for the NLC," said the Chairperson of the committee, Mr Duma Nkosi.
The committee also resolved to allow the relevant state agencies to continue with the ongoing investigations into allegations of corruption at the NLC.