Meeting with Minister Davies: Commitments on National Lotto accountability encouraging
7 February 2012This morning we met with Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies. We appreciate that the Minister made himself available so soon to meet with the Democratic Alliance's new spokespersons on this portfolio. The meeting was productive and frank, and covered some of the most pressing issues facing South Africa today, including job creation, regional integration, industrial strategy and how to prosper despite the global economic downturn.
We used the opportunity to get a briefing from the Minister on his Department's key priorities for the year ahead and to discuss the upcoming legislation that his Department will be bringing to Parliament.
We also raised some of the issues we will be addressing in the Portfolio Committee in the coming months. Most significantly, we discussed the lack of public confidence in the National Lotto Board (NLB), its processes and its disbursements. We highlighted the lack of transparency about the circumstances leading to the departure of the CEO, Vevek Ram, and the need for the NLB to be more accountable.
The Minister made it clear that he supports the calls for the NLB to come before the Portfolio Committee to account for several recent decisions and disbursements which have raised important questions. The NLB must come and account to Parliament in a comprehensive and transparent manner, and we will be asking the Portfolio Committee to summon its members at the earliest convenience.
The Minister's commitment to accountability in this matter is laudable, and we will certainly hold him to it.