MDDA governance neglect calls for urgent portfolio committee intervention

The Democratic Alliance is troubled by the lack of urgency in dealing with the governance issues at the Media Development & Diversity Agency (MDDA). This follows the failure of the Portfolio Committee of Communications and Digital Technologies to secure permission from the Chair-of-Chairs in the National Assembly, to meet with the current and former board members of the entity.

Noting that the third term Portfolio Committee (PC) programme had no plans to address the plethora of issues regarding MDDA; which are already in the public domain, the DA wrote to the PC Chair, Boyce Maneli, objecting to the exclusion of MDDA PC programme.

The DA welcomes the decisive direction taken by Maneli, who then revised the PC programme and invited the MDDA board to the committee on the 30th of August 2022. At the meeting the members of the committee and the board of MDDA agreed to a meeting, at which former board members would be invited to provide more clarity on historical matters, that the current board might not be able to answer.

However after members of parliament were informed and duly availed themselves for the planned ‘oversight’, which was scheduled for 5 – 7 October 2022, the expedition was cancelled due to failures in the systems of the National Assembly (NA) to deliver on its oversight role. The DA further notes with great concern that the committee has not embarked on any oversight visits on the recent past terms. While the DA appreciates that the committee oversees a massive department, oversight is a critical component of the Portfolio Committee.

We call on the NA to provide the PC with as much support as possible so the committee can urgently address the governance issues at MDDA.