New SA communications minister Yunus Carrim (left).
Despite Carrim’s presence in parliament for almost 20 years fulfilling a hatful of committee and ministry roles, none have been connected to the communications portfolio.
If his early media comments are anything to go by then the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) looks set to be his main area of focus.
There is no doubting the massive state-funded SABC is big issue for the South African public, but if the Department of Communications (DoC) and Carrim truly want it to act independently then it should not be taking up too much of his time.
It would be far more reassuring to hear Carrim speak as passionately and at length about avoiding what currently looks like the inevitable missing of the international deadline of 2015 for digital migration.
Equally, it would be nice to hear Carrim’s thoughts on the national broadband policy review which Dina Pule put in motion earlier this year.
The country has not had a new policy on this since 1996 and it is of fundamental importance that it is completed if the DoC is to get anywhere close to reaching its 100 per cent penetration target by 2020.
The seventh minister of communications in almost as many years in all likelihood will have less than a year in his post with elections looming in 2014, so he could do a lot worse than simply ensuring the broadband policy review is ongoing and progress is made on the set-top box front which is so vital for digital migration.
Regarding the SABC, he should get a new permanent board in place and cut interference down to a minimum.