Marian Shinn. Image courtesy of the Democratic Alliance (DA)
“There is a long list of issues newly appointed communications minister, Yunus Carrim, needs to address with urgency if South Africa is to become the information and communications leader on the continent, and create the jobs South Africa needs to eradicate poverty and unemployment,” said Shinn.
HumanIPO reported earlier today Cassim promised to urgently address state entities’ performance, referring especially to the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
Cassim was sworn in as communications minister after Dina Pule was axed by President Jacob Zuma.
“I will request a meeting with minister Carrim to raise the following outstanding issues, which were bungled due to the poor performance of former minister Dina Pule,” said Shinn.
The issues Shinn intends to discuss with Carrim include taking action on the Rosey Seseke issue.
Seseke is the director general (DG) of the Department of Communications (DoC) and was placed on special leave following the revelation she misled parliament on her performance agreement with the former communications minister (before Pule). Pule failed to resolve the matter.
Shinn will request Cassim to evaluate the skills of the deputy directors general, chief directors and special advisors within the DoC thoroughly.
She said she will request him to “unblock the hiatus that fell on the set-top box (STB) manufacturing tender process when Ms Pule announced in may she was revising the policy”.
Other issues include fast tracking “the allocation of high speed spectrum for wireless broadband services, withdraw the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and Electronics Communications Act (ECA) amendment bills that were tabled in June for possible promulgation before this parliament rises in March 2013”.
Shinn will also request Cassim to “study the section on information and communications infrastructure in the National Development Plan to gain a clear understanding of the communications system” and “vigorously pursue the transition to digital terrestrial broadcasting”.
Shinn intends to ask Cassim to “take a firm grip” on the SABC’s executive management, in order to ensure it meets the criteria as set by the National Treasury regarding the loan guarantee, which underpinned its turnaround strategy.
Furthermore, Shinn will request Cassim to make sure he appoints qualified and experienced people to all posts within the SABC who are without any political obligations or affiliations, particularly those appointed within acting capacity.
“I welcome the new communications minister, Yunus Carrim, to his post and wish him well in his task of breathing focus and energy into a department that prevaricated over key issues for almost 20 years,” concluded Shinn.