ICASA’s newly-appointed councillors set to take oath of office
The five newly-appointed Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) councillors will take their oath of office this afternoon, the regulator said in a statement earlier today.
The appointees are Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, who has been appointed chairperson of the ICASA council, Peter Zimri, Luthando Mkumathela, Yolisa Kedama and Dr Charles Lewis.
The council members will serve a four-year term and execute their mandate in the public interest, while the chairperson will serve the five-year term.
In a statement, the authority says the councillors join the employ of ICASA immediately following their appointment by the minister of communications and digital technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, as published in the Government Gazette on 21 August 2020.
Their appointment brings the total number of councillors to eight, it states.
According to the ICASA statement, the councillors will be sworn in by judge JCW Van Rooyen at the regulator’s head office from 16h00 today, where they all will commit to serving the South African public without fear or favour and in line with their mandate as enshrined in the Constitution and the ICASA Act.
Acting chairperson Palesa Kadi says: “We are indeed pleased to welcome the new councillors as we are faced with a mammoth task of developing evidence-based regulations to level the playing field within the ICT industry.
“The incoming councillors possess vast experiences in their own right and we intend to tap into their intelligence as we continue to regulate in the public interest.”
The appointment of the new councillors has not been without contention.
Last month, minister Ndabeni-Abrahams was lambasted for her request to have the appointment of ICASA councillors staggered.
In May, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications recommended 10 names for consideration to fill the vacancies on the regulator’s highest decision-making body.
The names included the former ICASA acting chairperson Modimoeng, Kedama, Zimri, Mkutumela, Lewis, Zolani Kgosietsile Matthews, Amanda Cuba, Sandisiwe Ncemane, Dikeledi Mushi and Ashraf Patel.
The Parliament committee referred the names in order of priority, a move that reportedly did not sit well with Ndabeni-Abrahams.
The minister wrote to National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise with a request to accept only four of the 10 shortlisted names. She subsequently added two names to the initial four potential appointees, saying this is in case the committee decides to proceed with six candidates.
The communications committee, which was in charge of the interview and short-listing process, held firmly that all six vacancies should be filled, taking into consideration all the required skill sets.
Despite the committees’ assertions that all the six vacancies should be filled, the minister has only appointed five members to fill the ICASA council.