Marian Shinn, shadow minister for communications.
South Africa’s communications minister, Dina Pule, outlined what the top five priorities were for the DoC in parliament today. They were broadband, broadcasting digital migration, e-skills, the launch of Postbank and the ICT policy review.
While Shinn agreed with the need to prioritise the broadband rollout and digital migration, she described Pule as “disappointing” and said the department should not be responsible for e-skills promotion and education projects.
Shinn told HumanIPO: “Educating government departments about IT should be the responsibility of the Public Service and Administration Department and IT education programmes in other spheres of government should be the responsibility of their respective provincial or local governments.”
During her speech in parliament, Pule had classed the allocation of radio frequency among the “lesser priorities”, alongside cyber security, public and community broadcasting and ICT research.
Shinn told HumanIPO spectrum allocation should be among the five strategic points as well as cyber security.
Regarding the ICT policy review, Pule said: “Over the short to medium term, the department will finalise the ICT policy review report, which will feed into the development of the draft green paper. The green paper will be followed by a white paper on national integrated ICT policy, which will inform the drafting of the National ICT Bill.”
Shinn said the policy review was “way overdue” and added: “While the issues need careful consideration, the department is wanting to push through laws that will bring about some fundamental and var-reaching changes to the landscape and entities.
“This legislation should be put on hold until the review is complete and only technical legislation should be considered at this stage.”