The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) briefed the Committee on its Strategic Plan 2015/16-2019/20 and Annual Performance Plan (APP). The Department planned to prioritise on broadband connectivity focusing on radio frequency spectrum and cyber-security, cost to communicate, Information Communication and Technology (ICT) policy review and national e-Strategy. Other priorities focused on the turnaround plan for the South African Post Office (SAPO), corporatisation of Postbank and a programme of action for the postal sector. The uptake of broadband had been slow and there had not been a strategic usage of broadband to solve pressing societal problems. The Department planned to continue with the Cost to Communicate Programme of Action which is aimed at facilitating investment in ICT infrastructure; promoting affordability of ICT services to consumers and facilitating competition in the electronic communications market. The Department will further promote access to ICT infrastructure and enabling of the Broadband Policy (South Africa Connect).
The adaptation and modernisation of postal services was crucial to ensure their continued relevance and value, such that the existing postal infrastructure is leveraged to provide an expanded range of goods and services to South Africans. Despite the declining trend in letter volumes, the postal services sector was still an important component of the economic sector in South Africa, contributing approximately 3.16% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Following finalisation of the National e-Strategy Framework, in the 2015/16 financial year, the Department will finalise and obtain Cabinet approval of the national e-Strategy. In the 2015/16 financial year, the Department will focus on facilitating and coordinating the corporatisation of Postbank with specific reference to: Licensing of the Postbank, appointment of Postbank Board members, establishment of the Postbank Holding Company and incorporation of the Postbank Company.
The Department was allocated a budget of R1.4 billion, a reduction from R2 billion in the previous financial year due to the movement of functions from the Department of Communications (DoC) to the DTPS. The budget for South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC), Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and operational budget was transferred over from the DTPS (old DoC) to the new DoC due to the transfer of functions. Government decided to designate Telkom as the leading agency to assist with broadband rollout. The 2015/16 targets e-Strategy and internet strategy will be developed and implemented to support the roll-out of e-Government and the broader advancement of digital opportunities, the review of the National Radio Frequency Spectrum and development of a roadmap for the establishment of a wholesale open access network
Members expressed disappointment that both the Minister and Deputy Minister were not present in this important meeting. They wanted to know what role Broadband Infraco (BBI) was playing as a State Owned Company (SOC) in the rollout of broadband by Telkom. It is important to determine whether mobile operators were complying with policies and regulations that required them to reduce the cost of telecommunications. Are there any time frames in place for the mobile operators to do so? Is there a clear strategy in place to facilitate smooth working between State Owned Companies to achieve strategic objectives? Is the focus of the rollout of SA Connect in rural areas? Were the provinces identified for the rolling out of phase 1 of the broadband selected because they have large rural areas? Were measures in place to avoid duplication by state entities, as this duplication had often resulted in the loss of information with regard to cyber-security?
Members asked whether the Department could help to solve the problem of rural areas not having access to Internet signals so that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) could provide learners with I-pads. Why are there so many vacant posts in the Department, and when will they be filled? What progress had been made on the Cyber-Security Bill, as this was long overdue? Are there any impediments that can hamper the corporatisation of the Postbank? Could the Committee expect that within a specified time frame the process would have unfolded?
Apologies were received from the Minister, Dr Siyabonga Cwele; Deputy Minister, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize; and Mr Sibongile Makopi, D was playing DG: Shareholder Oversight, DTPS who was on a study leave.
Mr M Rayi (ANC, Eastern Cape) commented on the apologies tendered on behalf of the Minister and Deputy Minister. Whilst he understood that the Minister could not attend because of a Cabinet meeting, it was imperative that at least the Deputy Minister should attend a meeting of this nature as the Strategic and Annual Performance Plans of departments were documents that were signed off by the Minister, and the documents also included a foreword by the Minister. When questions were posed in the committee, they were posed to the entire document, hence the presence of the Minister or at least the Deputy Minister was important. He asked that the secretary convey the sentiment to the Ministry. He also appealed to Members to remain for the duration of the meeting and not to leave early.
Briefing by the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS)
Ms Rosey Sekese, Director-General (DG), DTPS, stated that the 2015/16- strategic priorities was based on alignment with the National Development Plan (NDP), the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) and the 2015 State of the Nation Address (SONA). The Department planned to prioritise on broadband connectivity focusing on radio frequency spectrum and cyber-security, cost to communicate, Information Communication Technology (ICT) policy review and national e-Strategy. Other priorities focused on the turnaround plan for the South African Post Office (SAPO), corporatisation of Postbank and programme of action for the postal sector. The uptake of broadband has been slow and there has been no strategic usage of broadband to solve pressing societal problems. The estimated broadband penetration stands at 17%, and Internet penetration stood at 48% in 2014.The current market structure is inefficient, costly, duplicates infrastructure in urban areas and cannot roll-out ICT infrastructure and services to reach all South Africans in line with the long term vision of a connected society. There is a slow prioritisation and therefore slow migration to e-government services.
South Africa’s high cost to communicate affects all sectors of society and remains a concern that must be addressed through policy and regulatory instruments. The NDP confirmed that the price of services and equipment remains a significant barrier to expanding mobile phone and fixed-line use, with limited network competition further increasing costs. The NDP requires the development of a seamless information infrastructure providing access to a wide range of converged services at a cost and quality at least equal to South Africa's main peers and competitors. The Department will continue to implement interventions within the Cost to Communicate Programme of Action aimed at facilitating investment in ICT infrastructure; promoting affordability of ICT services to consumers and facilitating market competition in the electronic communications market. The Department will further promote access to ICT infrastructure and enabling the Broadband Policy (South Africa Connect).
In the 2015/16 financial year, the Department will be implementing the following interventions within the Cost to Communicate Programme of Action:
- Development of the Policy Direction on National Roaming to facilitate access to infrastructure, improve competition in the market and reduce roaming costs.
- Development of a draft Local Loop Strategy to ensure that quality improves, costs are reduced and fixed-line coverage is expanded to meet demand for high-speed telecommunications through increasing the reach of the local loop.
- Development of the Policy Direction on data costs aimed at reducing data costs following the broadband value chain analysis.
- Development and implementation of a Monitoring and evaluation framework to assess implementation and impact of interventions to reduce the cost to communicate such as the effect of the reduction of wholesale termination rates on retail prices and on the on-net/off-net price differential.
The vision in the NDP adopted by Government in 2012 is in many ways the foundation of the ICT Policy Review Process. The NDP stated that a “new policy framework will be needed to realise the vision of a fully connected society”. The Policy Review does not happen in isolation from other policy developments such as the National Broadband Policy (South Africa Connect) adopted in 2013. The ICT Policy Review will reinforce and extend the objectives set in the broadband plan. The policy process also recognises that the environment is changing rapidly and that policy interventions will need to be continuously assessed against the objectives set. It is thus being developed with a 2030 vision but with specific focus on the next five years. Following Cabinet approval of the National Integrated ICT Policy Green Paper, extensive consultation was undertaken to inform the development of the discussion paper that highlights a range of policy options and possible policy approaches. The Department will utilise stakeholder input on the Discussion Paper to inform the finalisation and subsequent gazetting of the White Paper on National Integrated ICT Policy. The White Paper will further inform the legislative programme of the Department going forward.
Although ICTs have the potential to facilitate South Africa’s economic development and contribute to job creation and poverty alleviation, ICT uptake & usage by government, citizens and business, is relatively low in comparison with South Africa’s peers/comparator countries. The national e-Strategy is therefore focused at providing forward looking strategic direction for the implementation of the ICT vision for South Africa. The National e-Strategy will serve as a basis to set a national agenda on ICT in line with the NDP Vision 2030. The e-Strategy would also promote e-Government by ensuring that there is provision of infrastructure for universal access to services, as well as address uptake and usage of ICTs by all, including rural and under-served areas. The NDP stipulates that as a country we have to develop a comprehensive and integrated e-Strategy that reflects the crosscutting nature of ICTS. Focus will also be on the development and implementation of an Internet Strategy aimed at increasing uptake, usage, access and awareness of the Internet. Following finalisation of the National e-Strategy Framework, in the 2015/16 financial year, the Department will finalise and obtain Cabinet approval of the national e-Strategy.
Adaptation and modernisation of postal services is crucial to ensure their continued relevance and value, such that the existing postal infrastructure is leveraged to provide an expanded range of goods and services to South Africans. Despite the declining trend in letter volumes, the postal services sector is an important component of the economic sector in South Africa, contributing approximately 3.16% to GDP. The Post Office is therefore an important national strategic asset, and its turnaround and sustainability is important to SA’s broad long-term developmental goals. Furthermore, due to the Post Office infrastructure it has a far greater depth of reach to the citizenry than any other entity.
Following development of the SAPO Turn-around Plan, in the 2015/16 financial year, focus will be on:
- Supporting, coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the SAPO Turn-around Plan.
- Informing, facilitating, monitoring and evaluating the deployment of SAPO’s infrastructure in terms of Post Offices and Points of Presence (PoPs).
- Developing and obtaining approval of the National Address System Policy
The Postbank has a critical role in the financial service environment of South Africa, especially as it concerns the economically marginalised citizens, and those who are not in reach of the banking sector. Within this broader theme of universal service and access, the Postbank will lead the expansion of access to banking services to the majority of citizens, mainly in rural South Africa. The Postbank has a formidable customer base to launch new transactional services including lending facilities, thus providing much needed financial services especially to the currently unbanked.
In the 2015/16 financial year, the Department will focus on facilitating and coordinating the corporatisation of Postbank with specific reference to:
- Licensing of the Postbank
- Appointment of Postbank Board members
- Establishment of the Postbank Holding Company
- Incorporation of the Postbank Company
Mr Sam Vilakazi, DDG: Administration; stated that the total budget allocation for the Department is R1.4 billion, a reduction from R2 billion in the previous financial year due to the movement of functions from the DoC to the DTPS. The budget allocation per programme for 2015/16 shows that infrastructure support will be allocated (45%) of the total budget, followed by broadcasting, communication registration and support (32%) policy research and capacity development (7%), ICT International affairs (3%), and administration (12%). The budget for South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC), Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and operational budget had been transferred over from the DTPS (old Department of Communication (DoC) to the new DoC due to the transfer of functions. The economic classification of the budget shows that current payments (48%) and transfer and subsidies (52%) and payment for capital assets (0%)
The Annual Performance Plan (APP) takes into consideration the short to medium-term focus areas stemming from the NDP, the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) and the 2015 SONA. Specific interventions have been prioritised for the 2015/16 financial year taking into consideration available resources and identified risks. The strategic alignment (1) under the NDP focused on the urgent need for a full policy review and the MTSF focused on developing a new policy framework for ICT and the APP focused on the finalisation of the White Paper on National Integrated ICT Policy. The strategic alignment (2) under the NDP focused on ensuring 100% broadband penetration and the MTSF also prioritised on extending broadband penetration. The 2015/16 APP targets focused on the implementation of phase 1 of Digital Development plan, prioritising on providing connectivity to 1 296 government institutions. There is also a need to develop an implementation plan for phase 2 of digital development.
The focus area for strategic alignment (3) under the NDP was the improvement of quality, reducing cost and expanding the reach of local loop, and the MTSF prioritised on developing a strategy for the local loop to ensure that quality improves and costs are reduced. The 2015/16 APP targets planned to implement the Cost to Communicate PoA: focusing
- Roaming Policy Direction developed
- Draft Local Loop Strategy developed
- Policy Direction on data costs developed
- Monitoring and Evaluation framework implemented to assess implementation of interventions to reduce the cost to communicate
Strategic alignment (4) focused on the SONA 2015 as it was highlighted that the year 2015 will mark the beginning of the first phase of broadband rollout and government will connect offices in eight district municipalities. Government has also decided to designate Telkom as the leading agency to assist with broadband rollout. The 2015/16 targets e-Strategy and internet strategy developed and implemented to support the roll-out of e-Government and the broader advancement of digital opportunities, the review of the National Radio Frequency Spectrum and the development of a roadmap for the establishment of a wholesale open access network.
In an effort to ensure integrated and aligned planning, State-Owned Companies (SOCs) were involved in the Department’s planning process, while relevant DTPS officials from core branches participated in the strategic planning workshops of each SOC.A joint planning workshop was held on 11 February 2015 to ensure alignment and synergy in terms of SOC priorities with those of the Department, based on the respective mandates of each SOC.
Priorities of the SOC Unit included:
- The need to review the mandates and the funding models of SOCs under the auspices of the DTPS
- Development of an Oversight model for State Owned Companies under the DTPS
- Development and approval of the ICT SMME Programme model
- Facilitate the full operationalisation and licensing of the Postbank with a full Board complement
- Monitoring and evaluation of implementation of the SAPO Turnaround Plan
- Monitoring financial sustainability of Broadband Infraco
- Monitoring the implementation of the Corporate/Strategic Plans of all the SOCs under the auspices of the DTPS
- Facilitate the legal establishment of the iNeSi
- Monitoring the implementation of Shareholder Compacts.
- Facilitate the rationalisation of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs)
The 2015/16 priorities for SAPO included the finalisation and implementation of the Strategic Turnaround Plan (STP) involving a detailed corporate plan and the development of key priorities. Broadcasting Digital Migration focused on the alignment of SAPO’s distribution plan with final approved BDM Policy and qualification criteria.
- Conclusion of Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
- Distribution of the digital Set-Top Boxes focusing on broadband access through the Post Office branch network.
- Position SAPO’s retail outlets to form the Hub for broadband access
- Partner with Telkom to create SAPO hot-spots/ICT hub within the SAPO retail outlets.
Postbank Corporatisation Process included the following:
- Banking license application process
- Obtain authorisation to establish the bank
- Compliance with the regulatory and legislative framework
- Approved Memorandum of incorporation
- Capacitate Postbank (Core banking IT systems, corporate structure etc)
2015/16 priorities for Sentech included infrastructure rollout such as expansion of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network and complete 4 Greenfield sites and install 300 terminals. The Department also planned to assist Sentech to connect 33 community radio broadcasters and install 31 transmitters for SABC expansion. It is crucial for Sentech to generate net profit of R195.7 million before tax and avoid financial irregularities so as to obtain a clean audit. The 2015/16 priorities for Broadband Infraco include strengthening Capital Expenditure (Capex management) and a new product development for additional revenue stream focused at a competitive open-access, carrier-neutral, connectivity enabler, that offers higher than industry service level performance and diverse route coverage. BBI has extensive pre-existing infrastructure that can be of vital importance in the implementation of SA Connect connectivity projects.
2015/16 priorities for State Information Technology Service Agency (SITA) comprised of a comprehensive procurement improvement strategy implemented to improve procurement efficiencies and turnaround times and lower IT cost for government. E-Government is crucial to drive modernisation of the public sector, improve government business process and enhance access to government services by the citizens and safeguard and protect government information. The Department also planned to assist Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) and subsidise 5 million needy households with Set-Top-Boxes (Scheme for STB Ownership Support). Provide two Municipalities in under-serviced areas with Internet (Albert Luthuli local municipality and Vhembe local municipality.) Connect three schools of People with disabilities in under-serviced areas with Internet.
2015/16 priorities for National Electronic Media and Institute of South Africa (NEMISA) included building (through campaigns, public awareness & partnerships) a substantive formalised multi-stakeholder collaborative network involving government, business, SOCs, civil society, organised labour that will contribute to the massification of e-skills delivery at all levels. Leverage existing ICT education and training expertise, infrastructure and courses so as to produce three customised /targeted courses; transform 18 existing ICT centres into smart community knowledge centres and provide access to online courses and train of 400 ICT practitioners; 1250 e- literacy learners & 625 sector users.
The Department had been dealing with the fact that ZADNA did not have to comply with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and the Department had been giving the entity about R1.5 billion. ZADNA was at the point where it was financially sustainable and Ms Sekese had requested the legal team to scrutinise the matter; this still needed to be finalised properly with the Minister. She believed that since ZADNA was collecting revenue from managing the domain space of government and therefore it means there is a need to perform an oversight to the entity.
The chairperson asked why the Post Office was not providing high-demand financial services like sending and receiving money, such as supermarket chains such as Checkers provided, and where there are always long queues. She asked about the role of Broadband Infraco as a SOC was playing in the rollout of broadband by Telkom. What informs the fees that the Department was paying to these international bodies? How are the fees calculated? She also asked whether mobile operators were complying with the policies and regulations that required the mobile operators to reduce the costs of telecommunications. Were there time frames in place for them to do so?
Ms Sekese responded that it is the intention of the State that the corporatisation of the Post Bank should respond to this problem. The Financial Services Board less regulated money market services such as those provided by retailers; and hence there was the view that these could simply be rolled out by Post Offices provided a breakdown of the R22 million Rand in fees that the Department pays to various international Telecommunications Unions. Contributions fees were determined based on a point system. The point system was based on the county’s international policy and the role the country plays in South African Development Community (SADC) and Africa, where other smaller countries could only pay a limited contribution. The Department identified the need to revisit these contributions, however, these were complicated by our international relations. The contributions must also be viewed in the light of the tremendous growth of our exports to other African countries over the past twenty years.
The regulations are very clear and the industry has experience to comply with the regulations. There has been a reduction of prices at retail level. However, prepaid packages are still too costly. There is also a problem with the complex display of packages. This resulted in users not understanding what they are paying for. Finally customers are not informed of the validity of things that they pay for in advance e.g. data bundles expiring. There is a policy in place to address these issues within the current financial year.
The chairperson noted that the average age of employees of the Post Office was between 26 and 48 years. How would the Department deal with retrenchments in the Post Office? Was there any strategy in place to retain productive employees?
Mr Themba Phiri, DDG: Postal Services responded that the SAPO’s business model is made up of mail, retail, courier and Postbank. Mail and Postbank are profitable as stand-alone businesses. Retail is draining the post office and is also the biggest employer. There is no way that a different business model for the post office can be devised without looking at the number of employees that a new business model would require as an entity. A different operating model would require the strengthening of Postbank and mail. It would also need to look at ways to strengthen courier and retail. In large part, this will necessitate rationalising these businesses. The intention was not to retrench the employees. Negotiations have been continuing at a very high level. They are tied to SAPO’s turnaround plan. As part of its turnaround process, SAPO may have to diversify its business and this will necessitate the retraining of existing employees.
Ms B Masango (DA, Gauteng) sought clarity and a confirmation of her understanding with regard to slide 4: Based on the situational analysis of the market provided in this slide, are there plans in place to ensure that the market was ready to receive efficient service? Is there a clear strategy in place to facilitate smooth working between State Owned Companies to achieve strategic objectives? Is the focus of the rollout of SA Connect rural areas? Were the provinces that were identified for the rolling out of phase 1 of the broadband selected because they have large rural areas? Were Gauteng and the Western Cape not included because these provinces have a more urban character and profile? Will the securing of funding for broadband phase 2 rollout depend on the success or lack thereof of the phase 1 rollout?
She asked whether the Department make announcements before we are ready to implement programmes and thereby create huge expectations that we are not ready to meet. What is the impact has the challenges that SAPO have had on their customer base vis-à-vis other service providers? Regarding the set-top boxes: How were the five million needy homes figure arrived at? Is it an estimate? Is it based on statistics provided by Statistics South Africa?
Ms Sekese responded that the biggest problems identified are: the social impact of ICT in South Africa is very low, because government departments and officials as well as small business ICT uptake is very low. Also, the cost of ICT in South Africa is very high. The issues need to be addressed from a digital opportunities point of view. Therefore, the interventions in the National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot would be focussed on the ICT skills development space as well as enterprise development. Interventions will be tailor-made to deal with these issues. The rationale was not to exclude Gauteng and the Western Cape. However, the reality is that these provinces were very advanced in terms of broadband.
Broadband penetration in education in these provinces is very high. So, it is a question of what is in the interests of the country. If we compare these two provinces to others provinces, they are way ahead. So, in education, the Department did not want to disadvantage a learner because they come from the Eastern Cape. In phase two however, these provinces will be included. There will have to be a measure to ensure that allocations provide equal access across the country. Provinces like the Eastern Cape, the North West and the Northern Cape are currently lagging behind. The allocation of resources by the Treasury for phase 2 will depend on the Department’s demonstrated ability to spend money. The R700 million provided for phase 1 was 42% of what the Department had requested. Treasury moved the money from the Department of Energy, which had underspent. There is no new money available from Treasury – they simply move money around between Departments. Because of this the Department also lost money in areas where it had underspent, and this in turn reduced the allocation from Treasury.
Mr E Mlambo (ANC, Gauteng) asked whether the Department had discussions and oversight with the broadband rollout in Gauteng and the Western Cape. Has the operationalisation of the cyber security hub been approved by the security cluster? Is State Security involved in those hubs? With regard to slide 28, which talks about Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network expansion, where are those sites situated or allocated? With regard to slide 31: Where are the schools of people with disabilities located? Have they been identified? Later he raised a question with regard to slide 4: What measures does the Department have to avoid duplication by other State entities? In particular duplication resulted in the loss of information with regard to Cyber Security.
Ms Sekese responded that the rationale was not to exclude Gauteng and the Western Cape. However, the reality is that these provinces were very advanced in terms of broadband. The broadband penetration in education in these provinces is very high. So, it is a question of what is in the interests of the country. If we compare these two provinces to others provinces, they are way ahead. So, in education, we do not want to disadvantage a learner because they come from the Eastern Cape. In phase two however, these provinces will be included. There will have to be a measure to ensure that allocations provide equal access across the country. Provinces such as the Eastern Cape, the North West and the Northern Cape are currently lagging behind.
Mr O Sefako (ANC, North West) wanted more clarity with regard to slide 27: Access to these institutions is important to marginalised sectors of society. Are there any impediments that can hamper the corporatisation of the Postbank? Can we expect that within a specified time frame the process would have unfolded?
Mr Phiri responded that the corporatisation of the Postbank is complex. The Reserve Bank as an independent institution looks into issues of compliance. With respect to funding challenges, the Postbank is not experiencing challenges, even though SAPO is. There are challenges for them in terms of network upgrades so that they can run services that are on-line based, and that requires a lot of funding. There is a discussion around whether there is a need to amend legislation to deal with the issue of a controlling company for Postbank. Cabinet has taken a decision that the controlling company has to be SAPO and the Reserve Bank has a view that there should be a direct way in which the Minister can play a role. This could result in elevating the Postbank as a public entity similar to SAPO. Furthermore, there were other issues as to who the holding company is and how that affects capitalisation required by the Reserve Bank and these are issues that the Department was looking at.
Mr J Parkies (ANC, Free State) asked about the attitude of the Minister when it comes to the review of the legislation with regard to the Postbank. How did the Department manage global players such as Google with regard to issues such as tax evasion? Is there any capacity in place to do this?
Ms Sekese posed the question: What is the correct model for SAPO? This was a question that had been explored by the Administrator and his technical team. It emerged that no SAPO model has demonstrated financial success and sustainability that did not have a financial services component. If the mail volume of the business were to decline steadily, there would be a need for SAPO to diversify its business to the financial market and the retail in terms of e-services. So, it becomes difficult to separate the Postbank from SAPO. The attitude of the Minister is therefore that SAPO should remain the holding company. These are Internet based services. The regulations that the Department is involved with are related to domain name authority. The companies do contribute to domain contributions. The rest is not really within the ambit of the Department.
Mr Rayi requested the Department to provide a complete package – “toolkit” - of all the strategies and policies that informed the strategic plans so that members are empowered to interact with them properly. He suggested that MPs from both houses be invited to be part of the strategic plans of SOCs, as they could then interact with them better and their recommendations could be implemented. He asked that presentations for the NCOP of strategic programmes be structured differently, providing a summary of each programme and what it does for each of the provinces? He suggested that the Department and the SOCs (or its entities) should be brought together to one meeting to for purposes of reporting on strategic plans to parliament. Perhaps this could be done in the future. When would the actual rollout of the broadband (not the pilot phase) start?
Mr A Singh (ANC, KwaZulu-Natal) asked whether the Department could help to solve the problem of rural areas that do not have access to Internet signals so that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) could provide learners with I-pads. Why are there so many vacant posts in the Department, and when will they be filled?
Ms Sekese responded that the current vacancy rate in the Department is at 11.5% and this was still unacceptably high. There are processes in place to fill these vacancies. By the second quarter all vacancies will be filled. In future all vacancies will be filled within the required six months.
Mr Parkies asked about the level of knowledge within the Department to deal with cyber security and whether there is enough capacitation and readiness to deal with the international threat of cyber security. What is the relationship with all the other State Departments and in particular State Security? Does the Department share resources on Cyber Security? He posed these questions because when interacting with for example Crime Intelligence and the Department of Defence, they pointed out that they operated with out-dated and insufficient equipment.
Ms Sekese replied that when the policy was formulated there was a view in the security cluster that a cyber security threat may start as a civilian matter and then escalate to a national security issue. Who then is the custodian? The decision was that the SSA (State Security Agency) should be the custodian of cyber security. They therefore have overall responsibility for co-ordination of cyber security and we report into this structure. The role of the Department is more within the civilian side. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is responsible for developing a Cyber Security Bill. Each department has its own roles and responsibilities.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Strategic Plans for Fiscal Years 2015-2020 & Annual Plans for 2015/16 Fiscal Year of Department of Science and Technology & NACI
- An Overview of Department of Telecommunications & Postal Services Strategic Plan (2015-2019) & APP & Budget (2015-2016)
- Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services 2015/16 Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan