KZN finally has a new Gaming and Betting Board, after it took 10 years to update and renew the province’s gambling legislation.
Seven board members were sworn in at the premier’s office yesterday. An eighth member who dropped out is still to be replaced.
The new chairperson of the board, Sibusisiwe Ngubane, is a corporate lawyer with the firm Ngubane and Wills. She said she was excited and looking forward to making a difference transforming a closed industry. One area that was a challenge, she said, was getting the previously disadvantaged more involved in the industry.
Premier Zweli Mkhize expressed relief that the process was finally over. He acknowledged that the process of introducing the new legislation took far too long and said this was because of the extensive consultation process and legal disagreements on interpretation of aspects of the bill. Mkhize said that in future the provincial government must be far more responsive to changes occurring in the gambling industry, which require legislative adjustments.
Mkhize called for more transformation in the entire gambling industry, not only horse-racing. He said this would include casinos, limited pay-out machines and bingo
He added that one of the hurdles in the path of transforming the horse-racing industry was that the board dealt with the licensing of certain sectors in the industry.
Mkhize felt that more creative ways such as transformation charters should be devised to address other areas such as horse ownership, horse trainers, breeders, jockeys, veterinarians, grooms and work riders, as well as the main sectors of the industry: race courses, totalisators and bookmakers.
The board is made up of four women and four men. There are five lawyers: Ngubane, Pearl Mfusi, Isabel Konyn, Thembelihle Ndlovu and Ashwin Trikamjee; businessman Petros Dlamini, chartered accountant Heinrich Oosthuizen and academic Dr Ian Nzimakwe.