Thirty-one months after the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Act was signed into law, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police (PCP) plans interviews for “possible appointment” to the Critical Infrastructure Council.
The CIP Act replaces what was widely termed by ruling party parliamentarians as the “draconian” National Key Points Act of 1980 and includes infrastructure essential for the economy and relating to security, public safety and continuous provision of basic public services. This includes the national road systems and its connecting bridges and tunnels, railways, utilities and buildings. The same applies to the rail network, the fleet of Eskom power stations, including pumped storage plants, gas turbines and South Africa’s nuclear power plant at Koeberg.
A statement issued by the Parliamentary Communication Service has it 17 short listed candidates will be interviewed. The short listing was “transparent, fair, consultative and consensus-seeking”.
Those interviewed have, in addition to what is called relevant qualifications and experience, expertise in fields germane to ensuring security of critical infrastructure. This is said to include risk management, engineering, disaster management and cybersecurity as well as the obvious “critical infrastructure protection”.
The shortlist is (in order of interviews with the PCP) Takalani Thovhakale, Grant Son, Nomveliso Ntanjana, Mokgadi Ngoepe-Ntsoane, Lephty Gabaganenwe, Nkhangweni Rambau, Patience Mbava, Sarel Smit, Willie Renier du Preez, Eugene van Rooyen, Vincent Mello, Keletso Lefothane, David Schoultz, Lufuno Khorommbi, Nomabandla Silinyana, Thandiwe Modise and Richard Zitha.
The Act gives a definition of basic public service as including “a service, whether provided by the public or private sector relating to communication, energy, health, sanitation, transport and water, interference with which may prejudice the livelihood, well-being, daily operations or economic activity of the public”. Infrastructure includes buildings, centres, establishments, facilities, installations, pipelines, premises or systems needed for the functioning of society, government or enterprises of the Republic as well as transport networks or networks for the delivery of electricity or water.