The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) briefed the Committee on international relations and compliance with treaties and protocols, looking especially at supporting South Africa’s foreign policy in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
The objective was to support and promote South Africa’s foreign policy in the ICT sector and the rules-based multilateral system, to prevent or mitigate the expression of dominant global power against smaller countries. The treaties also promoted international policies, rules, regulations, standards and the coordination of scarce resources to govern the ICT sector, and prioritised the development of Africa in order to benefit from shared expertise and experience, and international best practice.
The Committee was told there were a number of key treaties that the Department still had to ratify. There was a need for consultation with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and key international organisations to review international treaties to ensure South Africa had ratified those of strategic importance. The DTPS had also participated in bilateral agreements with countries in order to leverage mutually beneficial relations and benefit from experience and best practice in ICT. The Department highlighted a number of challenges in the completion and ratification of treaties, including the fact that it was a long process that often dealt with fairly minor issues from the perspective of national administrations – thus there was a poor record for ratifying treaties in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Universal Postal Union (UPU).
Members wanted to ascertain what kind of engagement usually took place in the BRICS ICT group, and wondered whether the needs and interests of South Africa and those of neighbouring countries were taken into consideration. What kind of criteria had been used to rate South Africa in the top three in terms of the UPU? Who were delegates to these bodies? Were they drawn from politicians or civil society, and how were the delegates chosen? They asked the Department to provide more details on the people who informed the delegations and the position to be taken by the delegates. What was the impact of some of the agreements on the Department and the government? How were the agreements to be ratified, prioritised, considering that there were certainly tremendous conflicts that arose between the various agreements and treaties that were to be signed?
Several Members highlighted the need to ask critical questions about the impact of the ratification of these treaties, to extend communication access for the people and the building of local capacity. What electronic goods were being locally manufactured? What were the implications of not ratifying some of the treaties? It was important for the Department to have law advisors in cyber security, as this was increasingly becoming a thorny issue that needed to be addressed. What was the relationship between the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) in relation to universal access?
The Acting Chairperson welcomed everyone to the Committee and indicated that the purpose of the meeting was to hear a briefing by the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) on international relations and compliance with treaties and protocols, looking especially at supporting South Africa’s foreign policy in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
There were apologies from Ms M Kubayi (ANC), Mr P Mabe (ANC), Ms M Mafolo (ANC) and Ms N Ndongeni (ANC).
Briefing by Department
Ms Rosey Sekese, Director-General (DG), DTPS, indicated that the objective of international relations and compliance with treaties and protocols was to support and promote South Africa’s foreign policy in the ICT sector and the rules-based multilateral system, to prevent or mitigate the expression of dominant global power against smaller countries. The treaties also promoted international policies, rules, regulations, standards and the coordination of scarce resources to govern the ICT sector, and prioritised the development of Africa in order to benefit from shared expertise and experience, and international best practice.
The Department was involved in a number of international structures, including United Nations (UN) bodies such as the International Telecommunications Union, Universal Postal Union (UPU) and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) which was being led by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti). There were also African structures, such as the African Union (AU), the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) and the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU).The Department was also part of Southern African Development Community (SADC) structures.
Mr Gift Buthelezi, Deputy Director-General (DDG): ICT International Affairs and Trade, mentioned that the Department was part of the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) ICT group, focusing on the need for greater coordination amongst BRICS countries. This was to ensure greater consideration, understanding and cooperation on positions of common interest in preparation for UN ICT negotiations, such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UPU, as well as to ensure closer cooperation among BRICS Member states generally. This possibility had been discussed at the recent ITU plenipotentiary conference in Busan, South Korea.
South Africa was a member of the Council of Administration of the UPU and chaired the Committee on Postal Strategy, as well as the PAPU Committee on Postal Strategy. There was also cooperation with the ITU and UPU on delivering financial and postal products to rural and underserved communities. Preparations were being made within SADC and the Africa group for the World Radio Conference, which would look at the efficient allocation of spectrum between different regions and uses, according to demand and the development of technology. This would include possible new allocations of spectrum for mobile broadband services.
South Africa was vice-chair of the joint task group of ITU Study Groups 4,5,6,7, coordinating discussions around the digital dividend and the allocation of spectrum for international mobile telephony, and other uses. The country had also coordinated the first study in Africa to address concerns over possible interference over the new spectrum allocations (radio-communications sector). The outcome of this work would inform the World Radio Conference (WRC) decisions in 2015. Recently, South Africa had hosted the International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation workshop for training in satellites in South Africa for SADC, and currently South Africa was hosting the third African preparatory meeting for WRC-15. The international benchmarking and exchanges were to support e-skills, e-government, postal sector policymaking and oversight, cyber security, and the development of national statistical indicators to reflect the development of the ICT sector, in line with international standards – for example, the ITU-led partnership for measuring the information society.
South Africa was vice-chair of Study Group 16, dealing with multimedia, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and e-health in the standardisation sector of the ITU, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) had made presentations of their technology to the ITU in this respect. It was involved in the implementation of the African and SADC development plans, including broadband, regional Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and data centres. It was important to have a harmonisation within SADC for the efficient use of spectrum. South Africa was also a member of the Council of the African Telecommunications Union. The South Africa and India joint working group 2011 had focused on exchanging information on e-government services and the development of technology parks. The e-skills institute had come about as a result of the advice of the Presidential International Advisory Committee and had benefited from extensive international consultation on best practice, including through the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) forum organised by the ITU. The e-Skills Institute now had a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the ITU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). South Africa hosts an ITU Centre of Excellence – the Telkom centre for learning.
Mr Jim Paterson, Director of ICT Multilateral Relations, DTPS, highlighted a number of key treaties that the Department still had to ratify. The International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference was acceded to in 1994, signed and ratified in 2002 and 2006. In 2010, documentation had been prepared for submission to Cabinet and in 2014 there was no ratification required, as there had been no changes to the constitution and convention of the ITU. The ITU World Radio Conference 2012 would require separate ratification because there was no need to ratify the 2014 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference Final Acts.
The International Telecommunication Regulations of 2012 would require separate ratification because there was no need to ratify the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference Final Acts of 2014. Legal opinion obtained from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DJCD) and had been requested from Chief State Law Adviser: International. The treaty was controversial and a number of countries had refused to sign. The African Telecommunications Union (ATU) constitution and convention needed to ensure alignment of the ATU with the African Union and ratification was now required. The Universal Postal Union was to prepare for ratification of the 2012 Final Acts of the World Post Congress. There was a need for consultation with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and key international organisations to review international treaties to ensure South Africa had ratified those of strategic importance. The DTPS had also participated in bilateral agreements with countries in order to leverage mutually beneficial relations and benefit from experience and best practice in ICT.
Mr Paterson took the Committee through the procedure for the ratification of treaties:
- Preparation of national and regional positions
- Presidential minute
- Negotiation of treaty
- Signing by designated Member of the Executive
- Legal opinions from Chief State Law Advisers: Justice and International
- Submission through Forum of South African Directors-General (FOSAD) clusters for consideration of line function departments
- Submission to Cabinet through Cabinet Committee
- Submission to Parliament through Parliamentary Committee
- Approval by Parliament
- Preparation of instrument of ratification for signature of President
Mr Paterson said there were challenges in completing ratification because it was a long process that was often dealing with fairly minor issues from the perspective of national administrations, so there was a poor record for ratifying treaties in the ITU and UPU. Most countries had a similar legal approach to South Africa regarding ratification. A proposal had been made by the Africa group during ITU PP-14 for research to continue towards developing a more stable, higher level constitution for the ITU, which would not need to be changed every four years. Other regions had not supported this for a number of different reasons, ranging from legal concerns over the possible implications to fears that this could open the door to more radical proposals for changes to the Constitution, and various other reasons.
In concluding remarks, he said there was a need for greater coordination among stakeholders to manage participation in ITU structures, especially study groups in the development and standardisation sectors, to ensure resources were invested in targeted areas that could assist in the economic development of the country. The Department would consider a study on the efficacy of international treaties in the ICT sector to better the lives of the people of South Africa. ICTs increasingly underpinned socio-economic development. To remain competitive, countries needed to develop dynamic information societies and knowledge economies nationally and regionally, with a learning culture and strong infrastructure. This increasingly required effective global interaction to share knowledge and expertise from global resources.
Mr C Mackenzie (DA) thanked the Department for the informative presentation and wanted to be excused if some of the questions he asked would sound naïve. He asked the Department to give further details on the countries that could be regarded as dominant global powers in ICT and the major issues that these countries were driving, and how that would affect South Africa. It was important to ascertain the kind of engagement that usually took place in the BRICS ICT group, and he wondered whether the needs and interests of South Africa and its neighbouring countries were taken into consideration. What were kind of criteria used by the bodies to rate South Africa in the top three in terms of the UPU? Who were the delegates to these bodies? Were they drawn from politicians or civil society, and how were the delegates chosen?
Mr Mackenzie pointed out that it had been said in the presentation that there were no satellites in South Africa, and he assumed that this excluded the recent “spy cables”. He inquired whether the V-tech network was not part of the satellite network, and said there was currently a project at the University of Stellenbosch to develop local satellites. Was there a common position and interests within the BRICS nations? Which countries had refused to ratify the International Telecommunications Regulations Act 2012? What was the position of South Africa on the matter?
Mr Buthelezi replied that the dominant countries in the multilateral agreements in the ICT were referred as the “big five”, and were led by the USA. There were also sub-groups like the European Union (EU), the “Four Asian Tigers” and the Arabs. Australia and Canada were still very influential in the international terrain. South Africa needed to ensure that it was able to assist the SADC countries through the national agenda, as it was dominant in terms of resources and had better capacity to produce the technological goods. The UN often found it difficult to classify South Africa as either a developing or developed country, as it had the elements of both categories.
Mr Buthelezi responded that the delegation was open to everyone within the sector who wanted to come from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Regulators and mainly dependent on the issue to be discussed. In order to choose delegates, the Departments look at files and the magnitude of the meeting and then the decision was often made after those considerations. The South Africa’s position paper was often linked with SADCs and SADC’s position paper was linked African Communications Unions Position Paper. South Africa was still battling with the countries considered as “Francophone” as there was often a conflict of interests in cases where the Chinese interests might not necessarily be the interests of the whole of Africa while South Africa was mainly trading with China.
Mr Buthelezi said that the USA was supporting Kenya, and France was supporting Rwanda, in most of the bilateral agreements and the expansion of ICT infrastructure, so as to “pull out” South Africa as an ICT leader on the continent. This explained why countries like Kenya and Rwanda were able to drastically reduce the cost of communication. South Africa had managed to retain the national interests in BRICS and had also played a key role in China being able to participate and trade on the African continent. The collapse of Egypt, which used to be dominant in the ICT space, and political instability in Nigeria, meant that South Africa would continue to be in an advantageous position in the sector, and this opportunity needed to be exploited.
South Africa had won the right to be in the UPA top three by competing against countries like Canada, USA and Australia, which had received 33 votes combined, while South Africa had received 88 votes. Most of internet “spam” communications came from Europe and the USA, and this was costing the country a lot of money, as they “dump” the delivery and this affects the speed of the internet. The Department sends a draft of the position paper to the sector and industry, both private and public, and often appreciates the input and responses. He suggested that the Committee Members could also be part of process, so as to better understand the complexities in the ratification of the treaties. The Department looked at ways to strike a balance between the public and business interests.
Mr Buthelezi said it was important to do a follow up on some of the treaties that had been ratified as far back as 1988, 1996 and 2000, so as to ascertain whether these treaties were still relevant. There was a realisation that some of the treaties that had been ratified in the past were wrongly pushed and there was a DG in the past that had signed and committed to a treaty that was not in line with the Department’s position. The follow-up on treaties required capacity in terms of getting skilled employees who specialised in ICT.
South Africa had only micro satellites, which were privately-owned and monitored so as to avoid the possibility of satellites being used for the wrong reasons, such as the recent “spy cables”. Similarly, South Africa had decided that drones that were used to fight poaching must be locally manufactured to avoid the issue of spying. This highlighted the danger of importing goods from other countries. The government was often involved in the use of satellites for rural development and cross-border movement
Ms M Shinn (DA) also asked the Department to provide more details on the people who inform the delegation and the position that was to be taken by the delegates. What was the impact of the agreements? She asked whether, when the agreement was signed by the Department, it would be immediately implemented throughout government and the ICT sector. It was important for the Department to explain how to prioritise the agreement to be ratified, considering that there were certainly tremendous conflicts that arose between the various agreements and treaties that were to be signed.
Ms Shinn questioned whether there was no need for rationalisation of some treaties, as South Africa belonged to too many organisations. How was the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) relevant to the international treaties? It was concerning that some of the treaties were still taking too long to be ratified -- was there a strategy in place to expedite the ratification of these treaties?
Mr Buthelezi responded that the Department would like to rationalise some of the treaties, although this was impossible, considering that the ICT was a specialised and cross-cutting service, and it was currently the sector that was driving the economy. It was impossible to run e-government services without SITA and it would take a minimum of three to five years to start the whole data centre from scratch. There was an issue of standardisation from the ITU and it often becames very difficult for people to invest in the country without knowing about its ICT capabilities.
Mr Paterson said that the dti was responsible for negotiating the kind of inputs and benefits to the sector in the ratification of these treaties, and it was probably better to have an agreement than not
Mr M Ndlozi (EFF) said that his ideological observation was that the entire World Trade Organisations (WTO) framework of trade liberalisation argued for the opening up of the markets so that there were no monopolies in the ICT sector. However, there was a need to ask critical questions about the impact of ratification of these treaties for the extension of communication access for the people and the building of local capacity, particularly in respect of the local manufacturing of electronic goods. What electronic goods were locally manufactured? The impression was that most of the electronic products in the country were imported. It would be difficult to build local capacity under the ratified agreements that were encouraged by the WTO.
Mr Buthelezi responded that local manufacturers in the country had managed to build the Gautrain. There were a number of electronic goods that were manufactured in South Africa and these included Tedelex products, the black-boxes, and the optic-fibre for undersea cables. There was a concerted effort to boost the capability of local manufacturing in the country. The Department had written the electronic manufacturing strategy, which had been taken to clusters so as to be put in one “basket”. South Africa had been listed in the top six countries in the world to pilot the “Next Generation of internet,” and this would be an opportunity for the country to sharpen its capability in the ICT sector.
Mr Paterson said the Department was fully aware that the ratification of treaties was an ideological space and often some of the corporations involved were bigger than some countries. There was often an agreement between different countries in the ITU, and even within the African group, but there was a competition for space in terms of where the multilateral systems began and ended, and this space was defined by the internet. The countries with political and economic power were usually the ones who were trying to exert their influence and protect the interest of their corporations. Global monopoly was a reality and something that other countries would have to be content with, and just try to find their own ways to regulate and control it.
Mr Ndlozi added that in order to build real economic freedom, there should be international relations that were driven differently, and which would allow the State to impose protectionism in certain aspects of the sector, particularly to develop local capacity so as to create job opportunities. Who were the partners in the international treaties since the global order had changed? Who were the new partners, as China was not the freest society in terms of trade? What was the size of ICT in the SADC region? How much did the SADC region contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP)? What was the quantifiable workforce involved in the ICT sector?
Ms L Maseko (ANC) wanted to know about the staff complement within the Department that dealt specifically with all the processes of ratification of treaties, as well as the number of women and those with disabilities. It was important for the Department to have law advisors in cyber security, as this was increasingly becoming a thorny issue that needed to be prevented. Was South Africa bringing in any legal advisors from outside the country, as there was lack of skills and expertise for dealing specifically with cyber security? What were the repercussions for not following the guidelines of the treaties and protocols? What was the level of support from DIRCO and how long did it take for the submission of the treaties, so as to expedite the process? It was commendable that the Department was looking to focus on international treaties in the ICT sector so as to better the lives of South African citizens.
Ms Sekese responded that the Department would provide in writing the details of the number of women and people with disabilities, and the process of ratification of treaties. It was important to point it out that the Department was working closely with the Department of Communications (DOC) as talking about the radio frequency spectrum touched on both the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors. While the DOC was leading the policy implementation of digital migration, there were entities like the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) and Sentech, which were the implementing arms as far as digital migration was concerned.
Mr Buthelezi said that the cyber lawyers in South Africa were very few and there was currently no cyber judge to adjudicate in the matters related to cyber-crime. There was a need to strengthen this capability as cases related to cyber crime in the social media continued to escalate. He suggested that the Committee needed to work closely with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DJCD) to look at the issue of developing capability and capacity to respond to the issue of cyber crime, as the higher the degree of internet usage, the higher the degree of deviance and then the higher the issues that had to be adjudicated in court. The Department was still battling with ensuring that there was enough capacity to represent the country in international relations, and the National Development Plan (NDP) would only translate into reality once ICT was made the priority agenda of the country.
Mr Buthelezi said that there was support from DIRCO, although there was sometimes a clash between the two departments, especially when DIRCO created a position on internet-governance without the consultation of the Department or looking at it from a human-rights perspective.
He said there were countries like the USA, which invested so much in specialisation that they took a delegation of as many as 80. There were cases where the agenda items were delayed until the last day, knowing that the African countries usually had a shortage of funds to cover their stay until the end of the conference, meaning they had to leave before a decision was taken. This was a form of exclusion that was based on resources. He urged the Committee to assist the Department in increasing the budget in order to have sufficient delegates and capability, and be able to attend all the different shifts of the conferences. The Department had a shortage of members (16) representing the country in international relations -- this number was relatively small compared to the global standard.
Mr Paterson said that as a country that was committed to the multilateral and UN system, and to having an equal international system where countries were treated in a transparent and equal manner, it was important to ratify these treaties. There were no particular sanctions for countries that did not ratify some of the treaties, but it was important for South Africa to ratify them considering its reputation and the kind of influence it had on the continent and around the globe.
Ms J Kilian (ANC) said it was important to know about the legal implications for countries that did not ratify the treaties. Other departments, like the dti, also had their international relations sections, and she wondered if there was a way to ensure that there was coordination within the departments, especially in a sector such as ICTs. The dti must have a role to play in terms of economic development. How would the Department execute its mandate with a shrinking budget? There was still an apparent split between the DTPS and the DOC as to who was taking the lead in some of the issues related to the ATU, especially digital migration. It was critical to consider this issue, as it had an impact on electronic manufacturing capability and becoming competitive in the ICT sector. Was there any coordination between the two departments?
Ms Kilian asked why some of the treaties were taking so long to be ratified, as some had been dragging since 2010. It was commendable that South Africa was recognised as the leading ICT country in SADC, and she asked if there was a way to maintain the leading role when consider the limitations in the ICT policy and lack of internet penetration (30% internet usage and then 30% on mobile internet). The country was still lagging behind in terms of data consumption, as it was still expensive and unaffordable to the majority of people. What was to be done to ensure that other African countries would not “pass by” South Africa in terms of leadership in the ICT sector?
Mr Buthelezi responded that in order for South Africa to maintain its position in international relations, it would need to continue attending and chairing the joint task group of ITU Study Groups 4,5,6,7, coordinating discussions around the digital dividend and the allocation of spectrum of International Mobile Telephony, and other uses. The number of delegates was also very important, as pointed out by the DG, and in order for the Department to perform optimally in the international space, there was a need to increase the size of the delegations, based on areas of specialisation.
Ms Sekese said that the Department usually invited interested parties and inter-departmental coordination when preparing to attend international conferences and advocating a position to be taken, and in some instances there was consultation with the Cabinet. The Department did take into consideration that whatever treaty the country ratified, it would impact not only on the Department but also on South Africa as a whole. The budget of the Department was still inadequate for it to perform all its international relation duties optimally, and this emphasised the issue of lack of capacity. While the mandate of the Department had been growing throughout the years, this had unfortunately not been supported equally by agrowth in the budget.
Ms Maseko found it absurd that South Africa was in a same space and competing with countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana, but these countries were able to drastically reduce the cost to communicate in both voice and data.
Ms Sekese said the reduction in the cost to communicate was one of the priorities of the Department and the Committee and there had been a concerted effort to reduce the cost of voice calls. However, there was still a lot to be done to reduce the data cost. There was a historical understanding of how the country got itself into this situation -- when MTN and Vodacom were licensed in 1994, they had been given a mobile termination rate of R1 to assist them to grow. However, the mistake had been that these mobile operators were not given a period for the mobile termination rate. It had continued longer than it was supposed to, and the operators had got used to it.
The Chairperson indicated that all the work that had been done by the Department was for the benefit of the general public. What was the relationship between the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and USAASA in relation to universal access, and an internationally agreed upon commitment to benefit the majority of South Africans? It was important to know whether there were time-frames for the ratification of the treaties, as some of the treaties had been dragging on.
Ms Sekese said it was important for the Department to be adequately capacitated and funded, as reducing the budget meant that the Department had to travel in smaller teams to cut down the travel and accommodation costs. This compromised the efficiency and participation of the Department, as it was often difficult to alternate the delegates to different meetings, or those taking place simultaneously. The Department was working very closely with ICASA and was usually invited to preparations for participation in international conferences, as anything that would be translated into policy would have to be translated into regulation. Essentially, the Department usually chose to work with entities that were closely related to the content or topic to be discussed. For example, in the UPU, the Department would work closely with the South African Post Office (SAPO). It was crucially important to be able to coordinate what was happening internally in the Department and the sector, but also inter-departmentally.
Mr Buthelezi said that although the mobile providers continued to sponsor big events like the South African Music Award (SAMA) and the Vodacom Challenge, but there had been little effort to reduce the cost to communicate, and this placed South Africa at disadvantage when countries were considering investment.
Mr Mackenzie indicated that when it came to rolling out networks and new development, profit was often an important motive for companies. When he had visited Tanzania, the new developments there were mainly from the Vodacom network. The fact that South African companies had managed to roll out networks across Africa and the Middle East and contribute to the fiscus with world class infrastructure, was a success story that deserved to be praised.
Ms Sekese said that although the Department also supported the mobile operators in order to ensure that they became successful, there needed to be a balance between them being sustainable and not amassing massive profits at the expense of the people.
Mr Ndlozi said that profit was not the only motivation and people were not necessarily innovative because of wanting to make a profit. The question of building local capacity did not seem to be a priority, looking at government policies in terms of ICT. What was the strategy in place to build the local capacity in the country? There was an opportunity for the country to locally manufacture the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) set-top boxes, but it already looked like they would be imported from other countries.
Mr Sekese said that the country was quite happy with what it had achieved in the ICT sector, as far as services were concerned, but the main challenge still remained the local manufacture of electronic goods, as this was where jobs could be created. There was a concerted effort, together with the dti, to address this challenge.
The Acting Chairperson concluded by thanking the Department and all those who had participated in the debate about the importance of international treaties and protocols, and indicated that maybe some questions would come in writing, as Members would continuously engage with the presentation. It was also important to come up with a strategy to deal with the challenges identified, with everyone contributing to enhancing the image of the country.
Adoption of minutes
The Chairperson asked Members to adopt the minutes of 14 November 2014 and 24 February 2015.
Ms Kilian said the minutes of 14 November were not comprehensive, as some of the details had not been captured. She also corrected her surname to “Kilian,” instead of “Killian” with double L. It was important to have a follow-up on the resolution of the Committee so as to get the outstanding reports from the entities.
Ms Shinn suggested that on page 5, under “issues highlighted by the Committee,” the word “less reputable” should be replaced by “less resourced”.
Ms Sekese promised to make a follow-up with the Minster regarding the outstanding reports from the entities.
Ms Maseko moved the adoption of the minutes of 14 November, and was seconded by Ms Kilian.
The minutes were adopted with those amendments.
Mr Mackenzie moved the adoption of the minutes of 24 February, and Ms Kilian seconded.
The minutes were adopted as is.
Matters arising from previous meeting
Ms Shinn stated that the Committee had temporarily decided that on 14 March the Minister would come before the Committee to explain about Telkom being the lead agency in the rollout of broadband. Had the Minister been approached regarding this proposal, considering he had been doing a lot of media briefing about this particular issue?
Ms Maseko suggested that it was best to wait for the Minister, as he was still outside the country.
Ms Kilian agreed that SA Connect was a crucial project, and suggested that if the Minister was still away by 10 March, then the Committee would request him to be ready for such a presentation during the strategic planning session.
The Members agreed with this suggestion.
Ms Sekese undertook to ensure that the Minster was aware of the request from the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
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