Minister of Communications Budget speech & responses by ANC, DA and IFP


06 May 2016

Minister of Communications, Ms Faith Muthambi, gave her Budget Vote speech on the 6 May 2016


Honourable House Chairperson
Honourable members
Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
Ministers and Deputy Ministers
Traditional Leaders present here today
Trustees of Brand SA
Acting Chairperson of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and other Councillors
Chairpersons and Board members of SABC, MDDA and FPB
Members of the media
Distinguished guests in the gallery
Ladies and Gentlemen

Good morning!

Building on our achievements and addressing our challenges

As I present this Budget Vote today, I will also take this opportunity to reflect on the commitments I made in the 2015/16 Budget Vote.

Last year we indicated that the new Department of Communications would become operational from 1 April 2015. It is therefore with a great sense of pride that I stand before you today to report that the department is hard at work and has successfully completed its first year of operation.

Last year when I stood before this house, we reported that Cabinet had approved the final amendments to the Broadcasting Digital Migration Policy.

I am delighted to inform this house that since then, we have made significant progress in implementing the approved policy. Amongst others, we have been able to achieve the following critical milestones:

  • Finalisation of the Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) (SANS 862) and Direct-to-Home (DTH) (SANS 1719) standards in April 2015 and Integrated Digital TV (IDTV) (SANS 10352) standard in September 2015.
  • Between May and June 2015, we undertook a series of bilateral engagements with Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho to ensure the harmonisation of the radio frequency spectrum in order to develop plans to reduce any potential broadcast signal interference. During these visits, I signed Joint Communique, Joint Statements and Memorandum of Co-operations with my neighbouring counterparts. I can report in confidence to this house that to date no interference has been reported.
  • In July 2015, we launched the commencement of public awareness campaigns to educate the citizens about the need to migrate and the benefits of the broadcasting digital migration programme. The launch was followed by a series of Digital Migration Izimbizo campaigns that I led across the country.
  • In August 2015, a conformance regime to ensure that the set-top-boxes (STBs) and related accessories are produced in South Africa was finalised. It is currently being used to test whether the STBs comply with the approved South African DTT standards.
  • In August 2015, a panel of 26 manufacturers was established to produce STBs and related accessories such as antennae’s and satellite dishes.
  • The implementation of the long-awaited Digital Migration has started in the Northern Cape!  The SKA bound community, Keimos, has become the first beneficiary of the DTH and DTT Set-Top-Boxes. I would like to thank the Mayor of Keimoes, Councillor Olyn and ward Councillor Mr Afrikaner, who are present here for their invaluable support in ensuring that this project is launched successfully. These are the true ambassadors of the DTT in their communities.
  • We will continue to work with the Department of Science and Technology to ensure that we complete the Northern Cape SKA area on or before the June 2016 deadline.
  • The registration process made it possible for us to launch the distribution and installation of the government-subsidised STBs and related accessories on 17 December 2015 in Keimoes, under the theme “ZWI KHOU ITEA” (IT IS HAPPENING) in South Africa.

Mrs Slanger , the first recipient of the government subsidised set top box is with us this morning

Mevrou Slinger, die eerste ontvanger van die regering se subsidie set-top-box, sy’s hier met ons van oggend. Ek is baie trots op jou Mevrou, want meeste van ons ouderlinge is nie entoesiasties on tegnologie gebruik nie.

  • We have also announced 1 February 2016 as the commencement of the Dual-Illumination performance period.

To make Digital Migration a success, we will work with the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services and the National Treasury to come up with a mechanism on how SENTECH can be assisted in maintaining two networks system (dual illumination) costs.

We will announce the analogue signal switch-off date when more than 80% of the TV households have been migrated to digital TV.

House Chairperson,

These achievements have also had their own fair share of challenges.

We have in the recent past noted a slow registration take-up by citizens due to the TV license requirement and insufficient funding to conduct public and consumer awareness campaigns.

Together with the SABC management we have since resolved to delink the TV license requirement from the STB subsidy registration process. I have also instructed the SABC to clean-up the TV license database in order to have accurate and reliable information on who owns a TV set in South Africa to enable proper infrastructure planning.

Despite not having access to television services, Mr John Africa, who is among us this morning, has been a very responsible citizen by doing the right thing to pay his television license regardless of his financial situation! I am also making a clarion call for  all citizens to pay their TV licenses to enable the SABC to discharge its public broadcasting service mandate with ease.

We wish to reiterate that the success of the DTT project across the globe is heavily dependent on the implementation of a focused and properly funded education and awareness campaign. It is with great concern to note that the DTT Public Awareness campaign and related activities, such as the Call Centre are not funded for the 2016/17 financial year. However, there are temporary mechanisms in place to address the funding shortfall in the interim.

Lastly, I have acted decisively on the allegations regarding the inappropriate procurement of STBs and related accessories. We have received a final forensic report on the Supply Chain Management process from the National Treasury and once we have studied the findings and recommendations thereof, we will inform the public on the necessary actions to be taken.

House Chairperson

Together with the GCIS, the department has implemented transformation interventions to overhaul the broader communications industry. Today, 6 May 2016, the DTI will republish the Marketing, Advertising and Communication (MAC CHARTER ) Sector Code concluding 15 years of negotiations. This paves the way for the implementation of the MAC Sector Council, which will monitor the ambitious transformation targets necessary to ensure more participation by women and youth.

To give effect to these targets, we have also entered into a memorandum of understanding with the State Owned Entity Communicators Association representing the marketing divisions of government entities. We will begin evaluating all marketing, advertising and communications companies providing services to government and its entities and will remove non-complying companies from our service provider database.

Marketing and advertising communication reaches over 50 million South Africans every day. For such a small industry, its power to influence South Africans is disproportionate to its size, hence the need to make it a truly South African industry is imperative.

House Chairperson

Print media transformation is our flagship project for the 2016/17 financial year

There is a huge disconnect between the expectations of both Government and media on what exactly the role of the media should be.

On the one hand Government has taken a view that media is a partner and consequently lined up a whole strategy and delivery mechanism on this FALSE premise.  Every fortnight since President Zuma took office in 2009, Government holds post-Cabinet briefings with video conferencing facilities to link up both Cape Town and Pretoria.

At any given media briefings, the Cabinet statements are  generally no less than 10 pages of insightful content that covers current affairs, Cabinet decisions, Presidential engagements, national achievements, conferences and commitments of Ministers both locally and internationally. The release also contains pertinent details of progress reports in terms of the outcomes as per the delivery contracts between the President and Ministers.

In addition, there is regular reporting on the Bills and their various stages towards becoming legislation.

Notwithstanding these, our media would rather focus scandalising government even if that means not getting all the facts right. To some media houses their main mission is simply to paint this Government as corrupt, hapless and inept.

It could also be argued that racist tendencies also play a role in the unrelenting attempts aimed at stigmatising a black government led by the African National Congress. It has now become common cause that the independence and professionalism of many journalists are now measured on how ruthless their reporting can be about this ANC-led Government.

Media transformation will in this regard, amongst others, be made to address not only print media ownership, but also the ownership of printing press, the measurement of circulation, distribution channels and the assessment of regulatory instruments to regulate the affairs of media practitioners.

During the back to school campaign, I was deployed in Limpopo, where I visited Mphambo High School in Malamulele. I discovered that access to information about careers, youth development including knowledge of the work of government and its leaders remains a challenge to historically disadvantaged pupils.

I have invited one of the pupils at the school, Ms Nhlalala Maluleke to join me in the gallery. She will share with you how difficult it is for a rural to access information.

We urge veteran journalist like Ms Seipati Sentle to use her experience and free time to transfer knowledge and information to these communities.

We will during the second quarter of the financial year host a colloquium on Print Media Transformation with all role players including the public.

Last year we also committed to developing an overarching National Communication Policy to refocus and improve government communication in all spheres. I am happy to report that this has been completed and is being rolled out to departments and entities.

Our policy review programme

House Chairperson,

Work is at an advanced stage regarding the finalisation of the broadcasting policy review process. Some of the overarching and specific objectives of the review are to:

  • create a level playing field for emerging audio-visual media services;
  • protect and empower consumers (audiences), in particular guarantee key societal values for the protection of minors and human dignity, and promoting the rights of visually and or hearing impaired persons; and
  • promote South African content to support social cohesion and nation building and safeguard media diversity, pluralism, freedom of expression and information.

The Community Radio Support Strategy has been finalised and is being implemented. I am pleased to inform the house that in 2015/16 financial year the GCIS has just spent over R26m (twenty six million) on community radio advertising. During the 2016/17 financial year, five licensed community radio stations will be provided with broadcasting infrastructure.

We also like to commend the role played by the commercial radio broadcasting in helping government to address some of the social ills in our communities. We have amongst us this morning, Mr Alex Mthiyane from Igagasi FM who played a major role in assist 16 indigent families in Willowfomtein. We also call upon other private businesses to do the same!  

The department’s community radio programme is working! We have amongst us here today the Mayor of Greater Giyani Municipality, Councillor Hlungwani, whose municipality partnered with the Giyani Community Radio Station by providing them with premises and advertising support to ensure the sustainability of the station. We call upon other municipalities to emulate this gesture without compromising the editorial independence of the stations.

Protection of children against harmful online content also remains a critical component of our work during this year. To this end we have since introduced the Films and Publications Amendment Bill into Parliament.

Considering the increase in online hate speech and discrimination that dominated our country this year, I have instructed the FPB to continue engaging with the South African Human Rights Commission to strengthen governments’ response to this social ill.

We will not tolerate such unbecoming behaviour. We will continue with the Department of Arts and Culture to strengthen Social Cohesion and urge all members of the public to join the members of the public  the campaign Hash tag Not in my name

House Chairperson,

The department’s total budget for the 2016/17 financial year amounts to R1 344 685bn (one point three billion), of which R899 million  are transfers to the entities.

The department’s operational budget amounts to R75, 2 million. Out of this amount, R59, 2 million  and R15, 9 million is allocated to the compensation of employees, and goods and services respectively. A total amount of R84 000 (eighty four thousand) is allocated for payment of capital assets.

As indicated to the Portfolio Committee, this skewed allocation is a clear indication that the department is not adequately funded to fully discharge its mandate as pronounced by President Jacob Zuma in May 2014.

We will ,however, continue to make the best out of the available budget as we discharge our critical mandate.

The Department of Government of Communications and Information Systems (GCIS)

House Chairperson

The National Development Plan (NDP) emphasises the need to unite South Africans around a common goal, ensure citizens are active in their own development, and build a capable and developmental state.

We have amongst us here this morning, a living example of partnership between government and traditional leaders. This partnership is as a result of our community outreach programme in far flung areas of our country.  To this end, we have Hosi Xigamani, Hosi Manghove,Hosi Khamanyani,Hosi Nxumalo and  Prince Gulukhulu.

To support these outcomes the GCIS will continue to implement programmes aimed at facilitating two-way communication between government and its citizens. This will enable citizenry to access information about government policies, plans, programmes and activities to promote government accountability and to ensure that citizens can actively participate in government initiatives.

In order to fulfil this responsibility a budget of R382, 1m (three hundred and eighty two point one million) has been allocated to the GCIS.

A total of R222, 8 million and R158, 2 million is allocated to the compensation of employees and goods and services respectively.

The department will also continue to publish and distribute the fortnightly Vuk’uzenzele newspaper. The total budget allocated for its  production and distribution is 18.7 million copies per year of Vuk’uzenzele in all 11 official languages amounts to R25, 8 million in 2016/17. We will continue to encourage government departments to place recruitment advertisements in Vuk’uzenzele.

I would like to thank departments that are using this platform to advertise their vacancies and also encourage others to do so too.

Sometime last year, we were fortunate to be visited by a group of 25 elderly persons from a religious congregation in  Shayandima, in Limpopo Province Vend led by the former Executive Mayor of Vhembe District Municipality, Mme Vho-Irene Mutsila, who is also amongst this morning. They opted to come to GCIS resource centre which we shared with them various government publications. As a result, even today they still demand access to most of government publications .

Our portfolio entities

House Chairperson,

The success of the DoC is heavily dependent on the optimal performance of all its entities.

In order to bring about effective oversight to the entities, we have during the 2015/16 financial year approved the Entity Oversight Governance Framework Policy which we are currently implementing.

Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is mandated to regulate the ICT sector in the public interest as enshrined in the Constitution.

I would like to thank the National Assembly and the Portfolio Committee on Communications for steering the recruitment and selection process of the Councillors. We are therefore delighted that four new councillors have joined the Council of ICASA as from 1 April 2016.

Their arrival will bring about the much needed governance and stability in the Authority. We wish them well!  We will work with the National Assembly to prioritise the appointment of the remaining two councillors to ensure the full complement of the Council.

For the 2016/17 financial year, the Authority has been allocated an amount of R414, 4 million which amongst others will be used to increase access to meet the high demand for wireless broadband services, protect consumers against harmful practices employed by operators in the use of premium rated services, increase competition in the broadcasting sector, and develop a regulatory framework for dynamic spectrum management.

ICASA, will in the second quarter of this financial year, begin with the review of the new call termination rates. In line with the MoU signed, the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services will make further pronouncements in his Budget Vote.

With this budget ICASA will also focus on the implementation of local content regulations in this financial year.

The Film and Publications Board will over the medium term focus on informing and educating society to empower adults and protect children against harmful content; implementing compliance, and monitoring and evaluation; developing leading edge technology to perform online content regulation, and to classify content for films, games and adult publications; and conducting research on the impact of content on the public. In this regard the FPB has been allocated R86, 4 million.

A total of R181, 2 million has been allocated to Brand South Africa. During this financial year Brand South Africa will utilise the allocated funding to amongst others drive the partnership with universities to look at the different nation branding and the implementation of the Play Your Part programme in partnership with provincial governments.

Let me take this opportunity to welcome the new Trustees of Brand SA.

An amount of R23, 8 million has been allocated to the Media Development and Diversity Agency to enable it to provide technical, non-financial and financial support to the diverse media platforms. This will enable the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) to increase the participation of communities in ownership and control of community and small commercial media through its agile, cost-effective and business focused corporate services and general administration.

House Chairperson,

The SABC remains South Africa’s most accessible broadcaster and therefore government must continue to support it to discharge its public broadcasting service mandate.

The department has a duty to promote the growth and development of the local content industries to ensure that there is enough content for digital platforms in all 11 official languages.

We therefore welcome the announcements by His Excellency President Zuma on the occasion of his Budget Vote debate on Wednesday, 4th May 2016,  and I quote “The public broadcaster will also be engaging local television content producers on the way forward, with regards to new content commissioning” closed quote .

The Ministry is pleased to announce to this house that the SABC has moved swiftly to meet and engage the local television content producers on 4 May 2016. I am told that this session was full to capacity.

This initiative will result in the appointment of commissioning editors in all nine provinces where shooting and packaging of the content will be done in the respective provinces. This a radical shift from how the SABC used to commission content wherein the shooting and packaging used to happen in main cities.

In addition, as announced by the President we will work with the Department of Trade and Industry which has established a Black Emerging Filmmakers Fund which aims to assist in bridging the inequality gap for filmmakers in South Africa.

This initiative by the SABC will go a long way towards preservation of culture, tradition and heritage as presented by the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in this house on Tuesday, 3rd May 2016.

House Chairperson

We are also pleased to announce that during the second quarter of this financial year the SABC will cease to flight international content repeats and this will be replaced by the South African content, where South Africans will be  telling their own stories in their own languages.

Whilst we welcome the good work by the SABC team we also bemoan the continued inadequate funding of the Corporation. In this regard work is underway to develop different funding model options for the SABC. We are evaluating the available funding models including direct government funding, advertising, and the television license fee as possible sources of increased funding for the SABC.

The SABC is allocated R182, 2million to fund the operations of the Channel Africa, capital infrastructure programme, community radio station and programme production.


I am happy that this Budget Vote of the Department of Communications is delivered during Africa month under the theme “Building a Better Africa and a Better World”, which resonates with Outcome fourteen. This year’s programme focuses on women and youth development activities especially as we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the women’s march to the Union Buildings and 40th Anniversary of the Soweto Student Uprising.

These milestones culminate in the celebration of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, which anchors our vision of a “South Africa that belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity”.

While the Constitution gives equal rights to all South Africans, it also places responsibilities on us to play our part in fostering social cohesion and nation building which are necessary requirements if we are to realise Vision 2030 of the NDP.

In conclusion,

To the Portfolio Committee on Communications, thank you for your excellent counsel in performing your oversight function to the departments and its entities.

I would like to thank the Deputy Minister Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and Team DoC including the past and present leadership and management of entities for their unwavering support. Special thanks goes to my comrades and friends for their continued guidance and supports

LastIy, I would like to thank my family, in particular my son for his understanding and support and putting a smile on my face every day.

Chairperson, it is my privilege at this moment to table the Budget Vote to the House.

I thank you!



Faith Muthambi’s Total Control Project: Phumzile van DA Damme Shadow Minister of Communications

Honourable Chairperson,

Under Apartheid, the government controlled what the people of South Africa were allowed to watch, listen to, read, say and think.

It was able to do so because it exercised total control over all aspects of print and broadcast media in South Africa, thus limiting free speech and restricting the flow of information.

The SABC , in particular existed to entrench the Apartheid government’s power and was its de facto mouthpiece and conduit for propaganda.

To guaranteee that the SABC would continue to be its mouthpiece, the Apartheid government ensured that it had the sole authority to appoint board members and staff of the SABC. It also determined the SABC’s editorial content and programming.
When in 1994 South Africa attained freedom, the drafters of the Constitution agreed never again to allow this to happen again.

Various sections were drafted into the Constitution protecting free speech, the freedom and independence of the press and creating an independent authority to regulate broadcasting in the public interest.

In the years after 1994, legislation and policy was approved creating greater openness, accountability and independence of South Africa’s broadcast and print media.

Fast-forward to present-day South Africa, and, boy, have things backslidden.

Because the ANC is under pressure at the polls and stands to lose support in a number of major municipalities, it now, like the government before it, seeks total control over South Africa’s public print and broadcast media.

Over the last year, Faith Muthambi, the Minister of Communications, or rather, the Minister of Propaganda has embarked on a state capture project to once again ensure that government has total control over public broadcasting, in particular.

The project will reverse the culture of openness, accountability and independence of the sector leave South Africa’s hard-won rights to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of thought and right to receive and impart information severely compromised. All this, in the name of keeping the flailing ANC in power.

First in Minister Muthambi ’s total control project was the Films and Publications Amendment Bill.

If passed, this Bill will give the government the right to censor communications by all Internet users in South Africa, including digital news media outlets. This will be done by the imposition of heavy penalties by a Penalty Committee, a body appointed by the Minister and Cabinet. This Penalty Committee will not only restrict freedom of speech online, but is likely to be used as a political hit squad.

The Broadcasting Amendment Bill is another draft law in the Minister’s total control project. The Bill will remove Parliament’s role in the appointment of the SABC’s non-executive board members, and give the Minister and the President, members of the executive, the power to do so.

Along with the Memorandum of Incorporation secretly signed by Minister Muthambi in September 2014, her office will through this bill have total control over the SABC board. Combined with the power she already has to appoint the CEO, COO an CFO of the SABC, the Minister will have now firm control over the SABC’s day-to-day operations, killing its independence.

Honourable Chairperson, the Memorandum of Incorporation is unfortunately not the only document the Minister has signed in secret in order to gain total control of the SABC.

In my hand, I have the SABC’s revised Editorial Policy, approved, in secret, by the SABC board and Minister Muthambi in February 2016.

Had it not been for a parliamentary question I submitted, the public would have never known that the SABC had finalized its Editorial Review Process and according to Minister Muthambi, already implementing the revised policy. Had it not been for the likelihood that we would go to court to gain accesses to this revised policy, the Minister made it available to me after I wrote to her, and requested it.

But I ask Minister, why was the final revised policy kept a secret, and no draft policy released for public comment like during the 2004 Editorial Review process?

Despite an undertaking by the SABC in 2014 that there would be thorough consultation on a draft Editorial Policy, this did not happen.

Instead, by your own admission, the final Editorial Policy was presented and approved by the SABC board following an “internal review process”.

I ask again Minister, why the secrecy?

Is it because, as is evident in a thorough reading of the revised policy, that the government has, by stealth, captured the SABC’s editorial content and programming?

In the policy, the COO of the SABC, the infamous Hlaudi Motsoeneng is given “…the final overall responsibility for SABC content”.

What giving Hlaudi Motsoeneng full responsibility for the SABC’s content means, is that a person appointed by and beholden to the Minister – a political appointee – will have final say on content, thus giving the Minister and the ANC government direct control over the SABC’s editorial decisions and programming.

Another problematic inclusion in the revised policy is that it makes the principle of “upward referral” mandatory and Motsoeneng’s decision on all editorial issues, made final. Editors and content creators are threatened with severe consequences should they not refer “contentious” matters to their superiors and Mr Motsoeneng.

This is a complete U-turn from the old policy, where it was made clear that it is not management’s role to make day-to-day programming and newsroom decisions and although not ideal, upward referral was largely voluntary.

This mandatory upward referral will have a major detrimental effect on journalistic freedom at the SABC.

As indicated by the Freedom of Expression Institute journalists are on the coalface of accessing information for the broadcaster and as a result they are more in touch with the news as it happens than the broadcaster’s management. Managers are not practicing journalists and even if some in management of the SABC are former journalists themselves, it would still be a matter of principle that editorial decisions should be left in the hands of editors.

There is absolutely no reason for upward refefal to the COO at the SABC, the public broadcaster has a legal department where contentious issues can be consulted.

Honourable Chairperson, it is no wonder that the Minister has suspended the GCEO of SABC for reasons she has chosen to keep secret. It was to help Hlaudi Motsoeneng build an empire.

We are told that such is Motsoeneng’s desire to centralize and exercise total control over the SABC, that reporters in the regions have to apply to his office to use vehicles to cover stories. In some instances it takes up to five days for this approval to given.

I have noticed Honourable Chairperson that almost every day there is a puff piece about Motsoeneng on SABC news, presenting him as some sort of magnanimous demigod.

Enjoy this while it lasts. We will see you in court this month, and you know, we do not lose.

Honourable Chairperson,

President Zuma has established this department as his Department of Propaganda and Faith Muthambi is delivering on that mandate.

The ongoing failure of South Africa’s migration to digital broadcasting must rate as the most spectacular blunder of the current Cabinet in general and Minister Muthambi in particular.

Digital Migration is about freeing the airwaves in order to allow the poor and marginalised people – particularly in rural areas – access a wide world of knowledge, government and commercial services and educational and economic opportunities.

Minister Muthambi’s misguided meddlings are denying these people the opportunities to better their lives and use their hard-won freedoms. This ANC government is unfairly widening the digital divide.

While the Department and its entities’ Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans have some noble intent, it is difficult to look past the sinister plans to reverse the gains of democracy.

The concerns extend to other entities; the GCIS is due to implement the Cabinet approved National Communication Strategy. The public has not seen this National Communication Strategy, but we can already guess that it seeks to turn government communicators into an army of compliant tellers of the ANC’s “good story”.

We will be counting on ICASA, which receives the leargest allocation of the department’s entities, to exericse its constitutional duty to be an independent and impartial regulator of South Africa’s broadcasting.
I thank you.

ANC dragging the South African Brand through the mud: Veronica van Dyk DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Communications

Hon. Speaker; members of the house

One Annual Report of Brand SA on Nation Brand starts with:

”Brand is really just another word for reputation. It`s what we stand or fall by. It is shaped gradually over time, not only in the things we do, but in the way we do them. “

Referring to your speech at the World Communication Forum you said Hon Muthambi, that reputation allows us to stand out and stand tall: “We stand tall.” Minister, I beg to differ. The ANC and their president did a Humpty Dumpty- they all fell down.

This conclusion reinforced by your next words:

  • The reputation of our country is safely guarded.
  • It is managed at the highest level.
  • We live by the values that define our nation.
  • We remain transparent and accountable.
  • We ensure this is reflected in our communication. “          

If this is reflected by how the ANC president violates our constitution – I rest my case. It’s time to change to a government we can again believe in and that will uphold the Constitution. Either we can go with the corruption flow like the ANC on my right hand side, or we can take control, like the DA and have a say in how we are perceived.

Brand SA het `n groot mandaat. Kapasiteit om dit uit te voer – begroting, mark geloofwaardigheid en politieke en institusionele invloed is baie beperkend. As beeldpoetser is BSA se hooffunksie om die land se reputasie en globale mededingenheid uit te bou, by te dra tot werkskepping, handel en toerisme te bevorder. Uitkomste is egter moeilik meetbaar, soos uitgewys en bevraagteken in die OG verslag.    Bv.hoe is gemeet dat Suid Afrikaners se trotsindeks 80% is?

BSA se 2015/2016 begrotingstoedeling was 173, 2 miljoen;`n skrale verhoging van R8 miljoen na 181.2 miljoen nou- die totaal baie minder as die opgraderings spandeer aan Nkandla. Die groeiende personeelkomponent van 57, het 23 in die top 4 salarisskaal en kos die belastingbetalers-melkkoei gemiddeld R1.4 miljoen p/p. Die oorblywende bedrag om doeltreffend te funksioneer, het dus afgeneem en kwaliteit werkuitsette word beslis ingeboet.

Terwyl die Guptas “ Vat jou goed en trek Ferreira gesing het”, sit SA natuurlik steeds met Vader Jacob, ANC president, wat nie politieke en morele verantwoordelikheid aanvaar nie. And yes, also in BrandSA a Gupta was until recently a member of the Board of Trustee….

BRAND SA`s mission to build confidence in the future of the nation by telling our inspiring South African story, is proving indeed to be a challenge. Our society and economy continues to suffer under the poor leadership of Zuma and the ANC.

According to Stats SA:

  • Tourism in 2015 is down by 6.8%;
  • Food security is threatened- government not understanding in full the ripple effect of the severe drought we are experiencing;
  • 8.3 million people are jobless- more jobs and better education is the key way to improving people’s lives;
  • BEE failed – often resulting in inflated prices and poor quality.

If government really is serious about empowering black South Africans, it needs to shift away from current ANC failed policies that bypass the great majority, helping only a small political connected elite group. This undermines public service efficiency, deters investment, limits the growth rate, and makes it harder to generate jobs.

MDDA is `n geval van bo blink, onder stink. Met my persoonlike oorsig  na befondsde projekte, het ek gevind dat die befondsingsmodel hersien moet word en dat die monitering van projekte veel te wense laat. Sedert 2013/2014 het personeel verder verminder na slegs 14/32 gevulde poste tans; seniorposisies is steeds op aflosbasis. Beweerde prestasiestatistieke van 56% word betwyfel, behalwe as MDDA doelwitte verminder het. Net 5/22 projekte is bv goedgekeur vir befondsing, dws 20%.

Die DA steun egter navorsing en impakstudies in die MDDA om behoorlike meganismes in plek te stel om gemeenskapsmedia volhoubaar uit te bou.

Now that the ANC president has admitted that a convicted criminal was appointed to the MDDA board, maybe his removal will follow soon. How did Ntenteni pass the scrutinizing of the State Security Screening in the first place? SA deserves better.

It is time for change. SA the power is in your hands. Vote for this change. Your vote is your voice.

Address by Acting Chairperson of the Parliament Portfolio Committee on Communications, Honorable Dikeledi Tsotetsi, at Debate on Vote 3: Communications, 2016/17 in the National Assembly Chamber

Honourable Chairperson,
Honourable Members of the Parliament Portfolio Committee on Communications,
Minister of Communications, Ms Faith Muthambi,
Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers present her today
Honorable Members
Department Entities
Our guests
Media and the Public out there
Good morning!

I stand here today addressing this esteemed house when “the world of media is changing at a rapid pace; when spending on media continues to shift from traditional to digital products and services at a rapid pace; when there is the rise of global content intermediation and integration, as leading social-networking platforms, both personal and professional, provide videos, music, and news from outside sources directly to their users; when daily newspapers and consumer magazines have been hurt more than other segments by the transition to digital; when the content contained in newspapers and consumer magazines can often be obtained much faster and for free over the Internet; and when readership has been falling and advertisers have cut back on their print spending in response to the decline in print audiences”. This is in line with the McKinsey & Company’s Global Media Report 2015, which provides annual historical data from 2009 through 2014 and forecasts from 2015 through 2019.

Chairperson I address this house when there is both radicalization and marginalization of young people; when we are serious about addressing the challenges and implications of digitalisation for youth; where we would like to use the digital media literacy to assist youth to appreciate the values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination; when we want to assist and ensure that children and young people acquire and develop critical thinking and media literacy, particularly in the use of the Internet and social media, so as to develop resistance to all forms of discrimination and indoctrination.

According to statistics released by Mr Pali Lehohla, parents are more educated than their children. This is ironical, as it is in the interest of any country to invest in their youth as far as academic achievement and skills development are concerned. Surely, children are going to beat their parents on information and Communications Technology. Let us not allow history to repeat itself. We are from history whereby education was not meant for Africans, blacks in particular.

Despite all this, allow me to remind this house that as the ANC, we have always believed that “Democracy thrives when there are major opportunities for the mass of ordinary people actively participating, through discussion and autonomous organisations, in shaping the agenda of public life, and when they are actively using these opportunities” (Colin Crouch, Post-Democracy (2004), pages 2-3)

I stand here before you representing a proud movement that had foresight to know that “in order to create the environment of an informed society it had to make a declaration on the role of the media in a democratic society”; and that "The ANC will ensure that the SABC is fully dedicated to upholding the policies of a new democratic government, namely that reporting be fair, balanced and free of racial, cultural or gender bias."

We acknowledge progress made by SABC to ensure indigenous languages and content represent the demographics in the country. The Freedom Charter states that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, Black and White. The current policies and the constitution of the country, in the form of Bill of Rights, shows consistency in the vision of the ANC led Government. Many in our continent and of course globally believe South Africa has a good story to tell and want to learn from it. This is what the Minister has referred to when speaking about the Resolutions of SADC Ministers wanting to learn from South Africa’s progressive legislation.

This contrary to past regime whereby the country was isolated internationally as a result of inhumane policies institutionalized by the sectarian government.

Chairperson, I also address you three (3) days after the World Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated every year on 03 May, and the overarching theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms,’. This is nothing else but Freedom of the Media.

We would like to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. Amongst these we remember Henry Nxumalo, Zwelakhe Sisulu, Phil Mthimkhulu, Joe Tlhloe, Donald Woods Breytenbach the writer, and Percy Qoboza. To further illustrate consistency in our policies I will quote Percy Qoboza” I don’t believe I will be serving the interest of my country and all her people by suppressing the truth simply because such truth is unpalatable to certain sections of the population. We will accordingly give credit where credit is merited. We will dish out condemn enation where injustice is being done to anybody irrespective of he/she maybe”. This statement is an indication of the consistency of the Freedom Charter, ANC Manifestos and the current policies of non-racial South Africa. No State of emergency to change policies overnight. Thus witnessing a societal transformation that is led by the ANC GOVERNMENT. ANC has managed to transform South Africa within 20 years and correct the damage inflicted over 300 years. Only insane people would expect unreasonable miracles to address the legacy of the past 20 years. Only a handful of white privileged have embraced transformation, the rest are still resisting albeit subtle. (Rent a black vote for divide and rule is noted)


The honour of the fallen journalists who suffered under apartheid cannot complete if I do not mention Ruth First one of the journalidts who were forced by the brutal system to leave her country of birth and live in exile. During her time in Mozambique, she was assasinated by means of a parcel bomb addressed to her on the 17 August 1982. That is how they have abused power. It is normal to anticipate a repetion of this brutal act with the existence of the boermag.


Whilist today they pretend to be caring and consultative, they used to rule the country through dictatorship and iron fist .I don’t know how many of you know, but it was through an act of Parliament, that the Vorster government destroyed the New Age. DA, will testify, as reported in various articles, that Balthazar Johannes Vorster waved an issue of the New Age before a session of Parliament, angrily screaming, "One of the newspapers which ought to be forbidden is this paper, New Age, which is the propaganda organ of the Communist Party!". It is said that by the end of the session, Parliament had engineered the paper`s demise.

No such thing has happened since 1994 till this day. We have not orchestrated any demise of any newspaper, but have, true to form, called for a thousand flowers and ideas to bloom through various opinions and voices rather than the mainstream the ones that are anti- ANC Government.

Some of us in this Parliament remember the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence (3 May 1991) where it was declared, amongst other things, that:

By a pluralistic press, we mean the end of monopolies of any kind and the existence of the greatest possible number of newspapers, magazines and periodicals reflecting the widest possible range of opinion within the community
To encourage and consolidate the positive changes taking place in Africa, and to counter the negative ones, the international community-specifically, development agencies and professional associations-should as a matter of priority direct funding support towards the development and establishment of non-governmental newspapers, magazines and periodicals that reflect the society as a whole and the different points of view within the communities they serve.
Chairperson, we are highly committed to the promotion of media freedom and enabling the exercise of freedom of expression. We are concerned about media concentration, where a limited numbers of individuals and organisations own media outlets. Like many across the globe, which includes European Union, the USA, New Zealand and the UK, we believe we need to engage in an initiative of the South African Parliament where the public will be engaged on how we can radically transform the media in South Africa and pay particular attention to the risks related to the lack of media diversity. This is an essential pillar of healthy, open and dynamic democracy.

Since South Africa is built on the observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the Portfolio Committee will create a platform for sharing opinions and experiences by representatives of the civil society and the academia, the new media, governments and international organisations on how we can best and radically transform our media environment.

There is another truth that has to be told. Writing in the Conversation publication in January 2016, academics from the UCTs Centre for Film and Media Studies, quoted the findings of an international research project on the role the of media in conflicts arising from transitions from authoritarian rule to democratic government, which concluded that in South Africa, Poor communities in South Africa feel that their voices are not heard and their issues not taken seriously by the media.

I, like many in the ANC, also feel the same. We truly require ethical good quality and accountable journalism and editorial integrity. This is the kind of journalism that is fundamental and critical in helping the public develop the confidence to understand and actively participate in all democratic debates.

Chairperson, let it not be said that South Africa is alone in grappling with the issues related to the transformation of the media or the nature of media oversight in the face of technological convergence, and its implications for the press and the media. We continue to observe that the debates on these issues usually fall into two main categories: they either have their genesis in concerns about media practices and standards due to demonstrable failings; or they focus primarily on the challenges posed by convergence.

Therefore as we commence with our Parliamentary hearings into the Media Issues, we would appreciate evidenced based policy inputs that will assist us in coming up with proper and fit recommendations that will remain mindful of South Africa’s particular democracy, market context and circumstances.

The Committee of Communications need to highlight that we are proud of the efforts that the MDDA is taking in supporting media. This is out of respect for the freedoms of writing, printing, information and freedom of expression which are essential for effective decision-making by the public.

The ANC supports this progressive budget vote of the Minister of Communication.

Budget Debate On Vote 3: Communications

Budget Vote Debate- Extended Public Committee National Assembly Hon LL van der Merwe, MP IFP

Honourable House Chairperson;

This Debate comes only a few days after we commemorated World Press Freedom Day. May I take this opportunity to thank all members of the media in South Africa, who continue to play a vital role in supporting and protecting our democracy.

Hon. Chairperson, we must face our challenges head-on.

It is to this end, that the IFP recently met with the SABC, to discuss some pressing concerns. Some of our concern pertained to the fact that our public broadcaster is routinely accused of acting more like a state broadcaster.

We saw echoes of this when the Minister of Social Development recently visited Port Elizabeth. There, the Hon Minister faced an angry crowd at the opening of the drug rehabilitation centre. The story made it to the evening news. But the people’s revolt against our Government, was not televised!

So as we head into Local Government Elections, Hon Minister, we need the assurance that political parties will receive fair coverage and equal treatment. We need the undertaking that there will be no political meddling in the affairs of the SABC and no “canning” of politically sensitive programmes, which has been the case in recent times.

It must also be noted, that under this Minister’s leadership, policy direction has taken a sharp turn for the worse. The Broadcasting Amendment Bill, which this Budget will fund, will further erode the credibility and independence of the SABC.

While concerns about the SABC’s financial credibility and stability remain, we must give credit where credit is due. The SABC’s plans to finally source more of its content locally should be welcomed. Over many years, producers have raised concerns about the excessive red-tape pertaining to the commissioning of content.  This initiative is a step in the right direction.

Hon. Chair, we must ask the question: why do we continue to allow corporate communications bullies to make excessive profits at the expense of struggling South Africans?

Well, the failure to expand free broadband nationwide, especially to rural communities, is a failure this Government will not live down. But now, the excessive cost to communicate in South Africa hampers not only economic growth but also denies opportunities to millions of unemployed youth. This is an issue that deserves far greater focus and effort.

Under your leadership Minister, ICASA must act decisively in this regard. But will they? Previous efforts have come to nought.

Maybe ICASA could draw some inspiration from young Mr Nkosana Makate, who has finally won his long battle, against Vodacom. His tenacity and bravery is applauded.

Honourable Chairperson, digital migration is now long overdue. Yet there is no clarity on how this Department will cover the 3 million Rand shortfall for households that cannot afford Set-Top Boxes.

It must also be said that this Department cannot claim gender parity, or claim to respect people living with disabilities, while it fails the minimum employment targets in this regard.

In conclusion, Chairperson, the former head of the GCIS‚ Themba Maseko‚ recently admitted that he was ordered to divert government advertising to The New Age.

Six years later, and it is now not only the GCIS doing so. Eskom will channel just over R43 million to The New Age until 2017, while Transnet have just spent R20 million on the New Age in the past year. But these are just three entities. There are many more!

It remains preposterous that in the midst of an economic crisis, this Government continues to waste taxpayer money to keep the Gupta/State media empire alive.

These are the issues that require urgent attention, Hon. Minister. If not, the many questions pertaining to the effectiveness and credibility of this Department and its Budget will remain.

I thank you.


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