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DA: Statement by Tim Harris, Democratic Alliance shadow minister of trade and industry, questioning the appointment of the National Consumer Commissioner (19/20/2010)

19th October 2010

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the appointment of the first National Consumer Commissioner. The Commission has a critical role to play in the protection of the rights of South African consumers and needs to become fully operational as soon as possible. Last week, the department pronounced in committee that the Consumer Commission would be properly operational by December 2010 - the DA will hold the department and the new commissioner to this commitment.

That said, we hope that the Minister of Trade and Industry has not been strong-armed by Public Service Minister Richard Baloyi into appointing the axed Communications DG Mamodupi Mohlala as National Consumer Commissioner. Minister Baloyi was bound by a court order requiring him to find her another job in government following an "irreparable breakdown" in her relationship with her former boss, Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda. At best, Ms Mohlala is a controversial manager, but if Minister Nyanda is to be believed, at worst she has left the Communications department in disarray - the Minister was recently quoted as saying that the termination of her contract had "to do with her conduct, processes and systems". The DA hopes Minister Davies took time to discuss the appointment with his Cabinet colleagues and carefully considered her appropriateness for a position that is critically important for the protection of South African consumers.

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