A call for volunteers to serve on the body that will oversee SA’s internet domain has been reopened. This is despite the submission of more than 80 nominations for seats on the nine-member body. Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri said last week the call for nominations would be reopened from April 14 to 30. The decision was made on the advice of the independent selection panel, a five-member board appointed to scrutinise the applicants.

Selection panel chairman Sello Matsabu said the reopening did not imply that too few well-qualified people had applied, but cited administrative reasons. "The response was very good," he said. "We got more than 80 people of a high calibre." He said the selection panel must ensure that the new authority has a balance of people representing various sectors of society.

The new round of nominations is designed to get the message out to more marginalised members of society, Matsabu said.Setting up a new authority to oversee the .za domain name was one of the most controversial aspects of last year’s Electronic Communications and Transactions Act.

Prior to this, the domain was administered single-handedly by Mike Lawrie, an industry veteran credited with bringing the internet to SA.A standoff between the public and private sector was resolved only when Matsepe-Casaburri appointed both Lawrie as well as another critic of her policy, lawyer Ryk Meiring, to the selection panel.

Business Day