SA Communications Minister Dina Pule scores badly on Cabinet Report Cards

South Africa’s Communications Minister Dina Pule scores an E on the respected Mail & Guardian Cabinet Report Cards, which is not considered good enough for her to retain her position.


The Mail & Guardian report card E grading requests Pule to “do yourself and the country a favour – resign.”

Last year was a difficult year for Pule since she was beaten in court by e.tv regarding the digital terrestrial television migration set-top box controls. Financial markets are still unclear regarding her implementation of the government’s plan for Telkom and she has been accused of nepotism.

In December, HumanIPO reported opposition party the Democratic Alliance had called on Pule to take “whatever steps necessary” to withdraw the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA) appointment of Rubben Mohlaloga, who has been charged with fraud to the tune of R6 million (US$690,000).

Pule has also come under fire due to her alleged romantic relationship with Phosane Mngqibisa, a businessman who may have acquired financial benefits through the relationship. Pule maintained she is innocent and suggested the accusation to be a vendetta against her and by extension President Jacob Zuma.

Other issues relating to her bad report include the allocation of spectrum, large staff shortages and having to douse political fires, which minimises her time to focus on her job as Communications Minister.

She also has to address the 64.8 percent of South Africans who do not have access to the Internet as well as the department of communications not having met its seven percent increase in broadband penetration target for the financial year.

The Department of Communication was supposed to establish 60 e-co-operatives this financial year, which would assist youth-owned small businesses to enter the ICT sector but nothing of the sort has occurred six months into the year.

“In 2013 it is likely there will be a likely purge, or fear of a purge of sympathisers of the anti-Zuma camp with much the same crippling effect, plus what seems like inevitable scandals based in corruption, mismanagement and entitlement. It bodes ill for any improvement in terms of the actual business of government and transformation of society,” said the Mail & Guardian.

Telkom’s loss of more than 47 percent of its share value in the past financial year was blamed on Pule by various stakeholders. However, Pule cannot be blamed for every aspect of the delays involving key projects since she was the third Communications Minister in less than a year, which accounts for major disruptions.

The Cabinet Report Cards said National Planning Commission Minister Trevor Manuel should “take a bow” because he is “doing an excellent job” and scored an A.

President Zuma, however, was told “you’re fired” and was scored an abysmal F, which is considerably worse than his D rating last year, in which the Cabinet Report Cards told him to “get your act together.”

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