Third Term Programme; Minutes

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Communications

28 July 2020
Chairperson: Mr B Maneli (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

YouTube: MDDA 
YouTube: ICASA  
Audio: Third Term Programme; Minutes                   Part 2

The Portfolio Committee on Communications convened, on a virtual platform, to adopt all outstanding minutes and its third term programmes. All minutes were adopted.

In the third term, entities reporting to the Committee, including the SABC, MDDA and ICASA, would be asked before the Committee to account for their operations. Members requested the first meeting of the programme be scheduled with the SABC -given the SABC’s dire situation, the meeting needs to happen urgently. This was agreed to. It was said both the SABC and Department needed time to prepare for meaningful engagement with the Committee - Parliament, the entity and the Department all have to work collaboratively to deal with the issue of the SABC.

Meeting report

The Chairperson said the meeting was convened to adopt all outstanding minutes for previous meetings. He suggested Members inform him if any corrections need to be made to the minutes since he presumed that Members had read through all the minutes prior to the meeting.

Mr C Mackenzie (DA) arrived late and sought clarity on whether the Committee would adopt all the meeting minutes and deal with minutes of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) minutes separately.

The Chairperson indicated that the Committee would deal with minutes for the Portfolio Committee before moving to minutes of its sub committees on MDDA and ICASA. Members can make written submissions on grammatical errors in the minutes. The adoption of these minutes should be focused on the content of the minutes.

Adoption of Minutes

Committee Minutes dated 3 December 2019

Dr M Ndlozi (EFF) sought clarity on whether this meeting was the one when the Committee interviewed the ICASA candidates. Because if it is, he was sure that he was had been late for the meeting but he had been present at that meeting.

The Chairperson clarified that the meeting minutes under adoption was not the meeting that Dr Ndlozi was referring to.

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 4 February 2020

The minutes were adopted

Committee Minutes dated 18 February 2020

Mr Mackenzie realised that he was not at the meeting because he was still recovering from the gunshot. However, he pointed out that the columns under ministry representation of State-Owned Entities (SOEs) might have been mistakenly switched around.

The Chairperson reminded Mr Mackenzie that grammatical errors could be corrected, but for the adoption, Members should focus on the content and make a judgement on whether the content was a true reflection of the meeting proceedings. The Chairperson said he would note the point Mr Mackenzie raised.

Parliament’s ICT unit instructed the Chairperson to inform Members that their cameras must be switched on when they spoke.

The minutes were adopted.

Committee Minutes dated 11 February 2020

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 3 March 2020

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 10 March 2020

Since this meeting was a joint meeting with the Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture, the Chairperson sought clarity on the adoption of joint meeting minutes.

The Committee Content Advisor responded that this Committee could adopt the minutes first then this set of minutes would be sent to the Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture for its adoption.

The minutes were adopted

Committee minutes dated 8 May 2020

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 12 May 2020

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 14 May 2020

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 15 May 2020

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 16 May 2020

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 19 May 2020

Mr Mackenzie commented on the recommendation section on page four of the minutes - Mr Mackenzie read that the Committee deliberated on the Annual Performance Plans and Strategic Plans of ICASA.  He believed that it should not be a recommendation and it was a cut and paste error. It should just be a formal report.

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 21 May 2020

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 26 May 2020

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 19 June 2020

Mr Mackenzie corrected the grammatical error on page three – “Mr” Sutherland should be “Prof” Sutherland.

Mr Mackenzie commented on the first bullet point - it should be replaced with a brief description and history of spectrum.

On page four, under deliberation point one, it stated that “the performance of South Africa on the international stage was limited and South Africa has not signed or ratified many treaties with the exception of the Budapest Convention and the African Union Convention”. Mr Mackenzie believed that it was not factually correct. The fact is that there are only two treaties and one of which has not been signed and the other has not been ratified. Mr Mackenzie suggested the wording be replaced with: “South Africa had not signed one treaty and ratified another”.

On point five, Mr Mackenzie the wording: “wasn’t effective” be replaced with: “were relatively ineffective in ensuring greater competition in the market”

On page five under section seven, Mr Mackenzie suggested the insertion of: “it was built by a Japanese manufacturer of 5G infrastructure”.

The Chairperson reiterated that the Committee needed to focus on the content rather than grammar of the content.

Mr Mackenzie responded that he thought these were quite important points to be rectified because he did not think that the Committee can adopt meeting minutes if there are still corrections to be made.

The Chairperson explained that the adoption is for Committee Members to decide on the factual statements contained in the meeting meetings, so members should not be focusing on grammar.

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 23 June 2020

Mr Mackenzie commented on page four bullet point (xii) that the Committee needs to replace the wording “to take off” with “for spectrum take off”.

Mr Mackenzie commented that the two points that he had raised during that meeting were absent in the minutes. On page five, Mr Mackenzie inserted point d after point C “the Committee questioned the timeline of the roll out for IDTV and whether there would be sufficient time for this year’s matriculants and their exam”.

The second point was “the Committee raised the necessity of a TV license for each set and its set and how an indigent household could afford this cost”.

Ms P Faku (ANC) added that if her memory served her correctly, one of the recommendations made at that meeting was that all beneficiaries of ITTV must have a TV license.

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 24 June 2020

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 7 July 2020

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 8 July 2020

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 14 July 2020

Mr Mackenzie commented that he was proud to adopt this set of meeting minutes because it showed how Parliament held the Executives accountable.

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 21 July 2020

The minutes were adopted.

Committee minutes dated 22 July 2020

As the minutes had only been received by the Committee in the morning, the Chairperson suggested Members take some time to reflect on the content.

The minutes were adopted.

Adoption of the draft third term programme

The Chairperson indicated the entities under the oversight of the Committee, such as the South Africa Broadcast Corporation (SABC), MDDA and ICASA, should be asked before the Committee to account for their operations. Depending on the Committee’s and members’ and public’s interests, Committee programmes are scheduled accordingly. These programmes are changed and adjusted from time to time according to the relevance and importance of the issues, so programmes can still be changed after adoption. Hence, the Chairperson asked the Members to review the programmes scheduled in the following weeks.

Mr Mackenzie suggested ICASA be added to the programme to participate on 19 August 2020. He believed that Members would have questions which only ICASA could deal with at that time. Also, it would give Members more information on ICASA’s spectrum auditions which is quite topical at the moment as well as the Minister’s rapid deployment directive which Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams had issued last week which created havoc because of some troublesome wording.

On the programmes scheduled for 2 September 2020, Mr Mackenzie suggested the SABC, MDDA and SOS Support Public Broadcasting be invited given the allegations levelled against them in the mismanagement. He believed that these are major players in effecting changes in the public broadcasting arena.  He expressed his strong support for the invite for Wits Link Centre.

Ms P Van Damme (DA) requested the first meeting of the programme be scheduled with the SABC -given the SABC’s dire situation, she believed that the meeting needs to happen urgently.

Ms N Khubheka (ANC) agreed with the Committee’s programmes.

The Chairperson agreed with Ms Van Damme on her request about the SABC. He said that SABC also needs time to prepare for meaningful responses. And since the Department’s task is to assist SABC, the Department would also need time in order to make meaningful engagements with the Committee. He summarised that Parliament, the entity and the Department all have to work collaboratively to deal with the issue of the SABC.

The Committee Secretary informed the Committee that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) would also be included in the programme on 19 August

The programme of the Committee for the third term was adopted.

The meeting was adjourned.  

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