The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies has assured the nation that the appointment of Basil Ford as the executive caretaker at the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) followed the appropriate recruitment process.
The Department’s assurance comes after public interest in Ford’s appointment.
“We do however wish to inform the public, categorically, that Ford was appointed by the department to serve as the Executive Caretaker of USAASA following an appropriate recruitment process by the Department, in accordance with all due processes of the Department and with the concurrence of the Cabinet,” the department said on Wednesday.
According to the department, interest in the matter followed the judgement in the High Court on the appointment of administrators to public entities in the case involving the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).
“We will not comment on this case at this stage as we understand this judgement to be on appeal and that, as a consequence, its legal effect is suspended,” the department said.
The department said Ford’s appointment was due to, amongst other consideration, his lengthy experience and record on the management of funds, having previously served in a senior capacity at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
“In the past there has also been speculative reports by some publications seeking to link the Minister’s family members to procurement matters at USAASA. We repeat that USAASA has categorically confirmed that they are not aware of any such involvement.
“As the Minister has asked the public before, anyone with evidence of such wrongdoing should immediately report this to law enforcement officers,” the department said.
USAASA is an organ of state whose functions include the promotion of universal access to electronic communications network and broadcasting services as provided for in section 82 of the Electronic Communications Act.
This entity reports to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies. –SAnews.gov.za