On a virtual platform, the Committee met to consider and adopt its Reports on the supplementary budget for vote 30: Department of Communications and Digital Technologies and Vote 4: Government Communication and Information System. Both Reports were adopted with the objection of the EFF.
Concerns were also shared and noted during this meeting, such as:
- Indigent people who are already in arrears and would not have access to the Set Top Boxes.
- The politicisation of the distribution of food parcels.
- The dumping of material by Government Communication and Information Systems t constituency offices, which are closed during this time
The Chairperson opened the meeting by welcoming Members. He clarified the purpose of the meeting was for Members to consider and adopt the Reports. The third term Committee programme would be distributed to Members as soon as it was finalised.
The Committee Content Advisor took Members through the Report of the Select Committee on Public Enterprises and Communication on Its Deliberations on the Implications of the Supplementary Budget Vote 30: Communications and Digital Technologies
Ms T Modise (ANC, North West) moved for the adoption of the Report.
Mr M Nhanha (DA, Eastern Cape) highlighted the issue of television insurance. He said the Committee may have missed this issue when it engaged with the Department. It was stated in the recommendations of the Report that people needed to pay television licences before they could be provisioned for access to Set Top Boxes however, there are indigent people who are already in arrears. He would like this to be discussed and clarified.
The Chairperson noted the responses and the amendments. He pointed out the concerns shared by Mr Nhanha and stated that these would be investigated.
The Report was adopted.
The Committee Content Advisor took Members through the Report of the Select Committee on Public Enterprises and Communication on its Deliberations on the Implications of the Supplementary Budget on Budget Vote 4: Government Communication and Information System
Ms M Mokause (EFF) shared her concerns on the deliberation of the two Reports. She was greatly concerned by how the Reports were presented and found them one party sided and did not raise any of the concerns Members flagged in the meetings with the departments. She needed clarification on this.
The Chairperson clarified Ms Mokause’s concerns and said that the Committee captures matters that have been discussed. He recalled that with the meeting where the Government Communication and Information Systems (GCIS) is concerned, the discussion Members had were captured – maybe not in the way a Member might expect, but it was there.
Mr Nhanha reflected on the impact of the pandemic had it occurred during the period of the Guptas. He said that South Africa would have been in trouble and added to the recommendations. He also shared his concerns and said that South Africa’s constituency offices during this period are closed and GCIS has a tendency of bringing forward material and leaving it without saying anything.
The Chairperson thanked Mr Nhanha for his contribution and said that he had highlighted two important points, which are the politicisation of the distribution of food parcels and the dumping of material.
Ms Modise moved for the adoption of the Report with the amendments.
Ms L Bebee (ANC, KZN) seconded the motion.
Ms Mokause said that it must be clear and noted that when it comes to Budget Votes, the EFF does not support any of them. she hoped the Chairperson recorded this.
The Chairperson said he noted these objections.
The Report was adopted.
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