Consensus Forum Terms of Reference
SANBA is the South African National Blockchain Alliance, a network of like-minded individuals and organisations (government, business, academia and civil society) who aim to radically accelerate blockchain adoption, education, skills development, proof of concepts and commercialisation of market-ready blockchain solutions in South Africa. SANBA is supported by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the Office of Digital Advantage (ODA) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
SANBA aims to take an ecosystem approach to catalyse the use of blockchain technologies within the South African context.
SANBA is a distributed, decentralised and democratic network that will not be owned by any one organisation.
SANBA will have a very lightweight governance structure. The secretariat will be hosted by the ODA within the CSIR. SANBA will therefore initially not be a legal entity in its own right, making it possible to be flexible and to adapt the organisational structure as needed.
The body helping to drive SANBA’s objectives is the “Consensus Forum”, made up of approximately 12 nominated blockchain experts within South Africa. These members will represent a cross-section of the blockchain ecosystem (start-ups, industry, academia, business, government, civil society). As a founding member and initial funder of SANBA, DSI will have permanent representation in the Consensus Forum. The CSIR and the ODA, as the hosting institution(s) will each also have permanent representation. As suggested by the name, all decisions will be made by consensus.
The chairperson for the Consensus Forum will be elected by the members, and will preside over four (4) standard meetings per year excluding participation in relevant workshops and task team meetings.
Responsibilities and functions of the Consensus Forum
The Panel will have the following functions:
- Provide strategic guidance to SANBA;
- Facilitate, through research and consultation, the development of a comprehensive distributed ledger technology strategy for SA – beyond only cryptocurrency use cases;
- Advise on priority focus areas as well as budget allocation for SANBA in the next 5 years;
- Oversee and direct as required, the progress and success of SANBA, and ensure regular reporting to the relevant stakeholders and funders;
- Provide feedback to the National System of Innovation (NSI) on the achievement of SANBA’s objectives;
- Represent SANBA at official events, such as workshops, visits and conferences.
- Assist in marketing and expanding SANBA membership throughout the ecosystem;
- Support the management and monitoring of expectations of various entities and individuals (including stakeholder management).
The following operational procedures will be implemented by the Forum:
- The chairperson of the Forum will be elected by all members during the first official meeting. The Forum chairperson will delegate responsibility to one of the other Forum members should he/she not be able to chair a specific meeting.
- Members will be informed of a Forum meeting at least one calendar month prior to the holding of a meeting. Documents to be studied in preparation for meetings will be distributed to members one week before meetings.
- Specially convened Forum meetings can be considered if urgent matters so determines.
- A quorum will comprise 50% of the invitees for the Forum (excluding secretariat) meeting and apologies for non-attendance should be received timeously.
- Members will approve and certify as correct the minutes of previous Forum meetings.
- The agenda for Forum meetings will be drawn up by the chairperson in consultation with the ODA and CSIR members.
- The ODA Administrator shall act as the secretariat for the Forum meetings, who shall keep full minutes of each meeting and distribute it to individual members within one week after each meeting.
- The minutes of the Forum meeting will be accepted as a true reflection of the meeting via electronic approval. The final minutes will be signed by the chairperson and filed by the ODA.
- Choice of venue will be for the convenience of the majority of invitees.
Constitution of the Forum
Membership of the initial Forum is by invitation by the DSI’s ODA Operations Committee, of which the Forum secretariat will be appointed in a separate process. Thereafter, new members will be nominated by current Forum members.
Each member will be required to represent their institutions for a period of 2 years (from 1 January 2020) whereafter the membership will be reviewed and new members will be appointed as necessary.