South Africa: Basic Education Committee Concludes Deliberations on Basic Education Laws Bill
The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs will recommend to the National Assembly to adopt the name of Ms Janet Love to fill a vacancy in the Electoral Commission. The vacancy arose as a result of the expiry of the term of office of the Commissioner at the end of April 2023.
The recommendation is in line with Section 6 (2) (d) of the Electoral Commission Act and follows a process led by the Chief Justice as set out in Section 6 (3) of the Act. The report by the Chief Justice indicated that as per the Act the vacancy was advertised, and the panel was not satisfied with the calibre of candidates that applied. Following the re advertisement of the vacancy 70 applications were received and of those the panel interviewed 12 candidates. The Panel then recommended eight candidates to the committee.
“Following consideration of the interview transcripts, the curriculum vitae of all recommended candidates, the committee felt that Ms Love has the right skills and institutional experience required to guide the Electoral Commission of South Africa especially now when the country will for the first-time vote for independent candidates in the Provincial and National Elections. The committee will recommend that the National Assembly adopts the name of Ms Love to serve as Commissioner of the IEC,” said Mr Mosa Chabane, the Chairperson of the committee.
Meanwhile, the committee has considered and adopted a report on the determination of remuneration of the Members of the Electoral Commission for the 2022/23 financial year as determined by the President as per Section 7 (2) of the Electoral Act. The committee concurred with the President that a retrospective salary increase of 3% be implemented for the Chairperson and other full-time Commissioners.
The committee also received an update on the roll-out of the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) and has urged the Department of Home Affairs to resolve the impasse with the service provider regarding levied penalties implemented by the department on missed deadlines. The committee remains of the view that all service providers must also be kept accountable for delayed projects. The committee welcomes the assurance that the project tests are underway, and that the department is working with the service provider to ensure stability of the system. ABIS is a modern IT system based on commodity hardware designed to be run as a critical service without interruptions. It promises many possibilities in identity management while speaking to the type of Home Affairs of the future.
Furthermore, the committee welcomes the implementation of consequence management against 6 individuals identified to be in the wrong with regard to the contract. While the committee acknowledges that the internal disciplinary processes are sometimes lengthy, the it has urged for the speedy conclusion of the process to ensure that people are held accountable.
The committee has recommitted to focused oversight on the programme to ensure that all clients of the department benefit from the system.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.