Push to shortlist candidates for Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board

Cape Town – Time is of the essence in the short- listing of candidates to fill the vacancies on the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board, a provincial treasury official has said.

An economist with the provincial treasury, Claire Horton, told the standing committee on finance that the process was “quite expensive in terms of adverts in the media, as well as being time-consuming for the standing committee, the provincial treasury and the executive who have to make the final choice”.

Horton was responding to a question from committee member Andricus van der Westhuizen, who had asked whether the nine names on a shortlist presented for deliberation by the committee were for the two vacancies that would occur in December this year, or for the position on the board that would open up in May next year.

Horton said: “We previously got a legal opinion on the issue, which said it would be quite acceptable. Nothing prohibits the standing committee from considering all the applicants and it is expedient to do so in terms of financial implications.”

Committee chairperson Deidré Baartman noted that one of the nine on the list only had a matric academic qualification, adding: “What qualifications are considered when deciding the suitability of the candidates on the shortlist? Where does the provincial treasury draw the line?”

Horton said: “The act is not clear about disqualifying somebody in terms of their educational qualifications or their work experience. Also, we do try to present quite a diverse group of individuals for the committee to consider.”

During the presentation section of the session, Horton told members that a total of 20 nominations were received in response to the adverts published regarding the vacancy at the end of 2019.

The nine include four current members: David Lakay (chairperson), Pierre Voges (vice-chairperson), Noluyolo Mgazi (member) and Chuma Fani (member).

The other five are: Joseph Appolis, Claude Philander, Mfundo Thango, Lizanne Venter and Dirk du Plessis.

On the issue of the integrity of the nine, Horton said: “Probity investigations have been undertaken by an external service provider and provincial treasury received the probity report on May 27.”

Cape Argus

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