Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications, dated 22 October 2019
The Portfolio Committee on Communications (the Committee), having considered the performance and submission to National Treasury for the medium term period of the (i) Department of Communications (the Department); (ii) Government Communication and Information System (GCIS); (iii) Films and Publications Board (FPB); (iv) Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA); (v) Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA); and (vi) South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) reports as follows:
In terms of Chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996 (the Constitution), gives a mandate to Portfolio Committees to legislate, conduct oversight over the Executive Authority and also facilitate public participation.
1.1. Purpose of the report
The Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act (Act 9 of 2009) sets out the process that allows Parliament to make recommendations to the Minister of Finance as well as the cabinet Minister responsible for the vote to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the use of resources to ensure optimal service delivery.
According to Section 5 of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, the National Assembly, through its Committees, must annually assess the performance of each national Department. The Committee must submit an annual Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) for the Department as it falls under its oversight responsibilities, for tabling in the National Assembly. This process happens every October of each year where the Committee assesses service delivery performance given available resources; evaluate the effective and efficient use and forward allocation of resources; and may make recommendations on the forward use of resources.
The BRRR also sources documents from the Standing/Select Committees on Appropriations/Finance when they make recommendations to the Houses of Parliament on the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). The comprehensive review and analysis of the previous financial year’s performance, as well as performance to date, form part of this process. The Standing Committee on Appropriations (SCOA) should consider these when it is considering and reporting on the MTBPS to the National Assembly.
Lastly, this performance report is also in line with Section 195 of the Constitution and other legislative prescripts that guide performance management in the public sector to display and promote transparency and accountability to stakeholders and the general public concerning matters under their control.
2. Role and mandate of the Committee:
- Consider legislation referred to it;
- Exercise oversight over the Department and it entities;
- Consider International Agreements referred to it;
- Consider Budget Vote of the two Departments;
- Facilitate public participation process; and
- Consider all matters referred to it in terms of legislation, the Rules of Parliament and resolutions of the House.
3. Organisational environment
Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of a new cabinet in November 2018 the Department was merged with the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, and a new Minister Stella Ndabeni–Abrahams and Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana were appointed.
“this move is going to ensure that we have better alignment and coordination on matters that are critical to the future of our economy in the context of the 4IR,” President Ramaphosa.
The decision to merge the two ministries is in line with the realignment of Government as pronounced by the President during the State of the Nation Address. Shortly after the merger, the Minister placed a moratorium on the filling of posts and extension of employment contracts. A skills-audit exercise was undertaken to ensure that employees were correctly matched during this merger. The process of consolidating the two Departments into one Department is expected to be finalised by March 2020.
For the purposes of reporting, for the 2018/2019 financial years, the two Departments will report under different budget votes. Furthermore, the MDDA and GCIS have been referred back to the Committee for consideration and reporting even though they were transferred to the Presidency during the above-mentioned cabinet reshuffle in 2018.
For the period under review, the Committee, in exercising its oversight role, considered the 2017/18 Annual Reports and Financial Statements of the Department and GCIS on 08 October 2019, ICASA, FPB, SABC, and MDDA on 15 October 2019.
The Annual Reports presentations to the Committee were all preceded by the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) which presented the audit outcomes of the Department, GCIS, ICASA, SABC, FPB, and MDDA for 2018/19 financial years.
The Committee also considered the 2018 State-of-the-Nation Address (SoNA), National Development Plan (NDP), Committee meetings, oversight reports and the 2017/18 Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE). There was no report from the Standing Committee on Appropriations (SCOA) nor was there a report from the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA).
4.1 Outcomes of the report
This report is aligned to broader government policy framework, New Growth Path (NGP), NDP and the governing party’s priorities (job creation, poverty alleviation, combating crime and corruption, rural development, education and health). It reviews the initiatives taken by the Department to ensure that the priorities of the plan are realised. Furthermore, this report will review and seek to address challenges emanating from 5th Parliament Legacy Report and ensure that those recommendations are responded to in a systematic manner.
The report also assesses the financial performance against service delivery performance to ascertain whether the budget allocated to the Department was spent as envisaged in annotated in the Annual Performance Plan (APP). Finally, it summarises the observations made by the Committee after considering quarterly reports, all other necessary documents, presentations generated using oversight instruments, before making service delivery recommendations.
5. Mandate and legislative framework of the Department
The legislative framework for the work of the Department is contained primarily in the following legislation which it must administer and implement:
- Broadcasting Act, 1999 (Act 4 of 1999);
- Electronic Communications Act (ECA), 2005 (Act 36 of 2005);
- ICASA Act, 2000 (Act 13 of 2000);
- Films and Publications Act, 1996 (Act 65 of 1996); and
- MDDA Act, 2002 (Act 14 of 2002).
The Department is also guided, amongst others, by:
- The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996;
- The Public Service Act, 1994 (Act 103 of 1994), as amended;
- The PFMA of 1999, as amended;
- International Telecommunications Union including International bilateral and multilateral agreements;
- National Treasury’s Framework for Strategic Plans and APPs; and
- World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
5.1 Description and core functions
As stipulated in the NDP, a citizenry that actively participates in Government’s socio-economic transformation programmes to address poverty, unemployment and inequality in South Africa is important. This is given expression by Outcome 14 (Nation-Building and Social Cohesion) of Government’s 2014-2019 Medium-Term Strategic Framework, which is closely aligned with the work of the Department
Over the reporting period, the Department continued to focus on overseeing the implementation of Outcome 14, and its sub-outcomes of Fostering Constitutional Values, Equal Opportunities, Inclusion and Redress, Promoting Social Cohesion across Society through Increased Interaction across Race and Class, as well as Promoting Active Citizenry and Leadership.
To that effect, the Department redefined its priorities for the 2018/19 in order to foster economic growth and job creation necessitated by the ever-changing digital environment brought about by the convergence of technologies. Department re-tabled the 2018/19 Annual Performance Plan (APP) for better alignment and improved performance.
Nation-Building and social cohesion matter; both as an end-state and as a facilitator and the Department has a vital role to play in fostering unity and “Forging a new overarching identity.
Apart from administering the transfers it makes through its entity oversight unit, the Department as its core function, researches and develops broadcasting policies for the communications cluster, which comprises Budget Vote 3 of the Department, GCIS, SABC, BSA, ICASA, FPB and MDDA. As mentioned previously, the BSA did not form part of the referral to the Committee for this reporting period. The Majority of the spending is in the Entity Oversight programme.
In sum, the Department is responsible for overarching communications policy and strategy, information dissemination and publicity as well as branding the country locally and abroad using the six public entities mentioned above to carry out its mandate.
In terms of transfers made to entities reporting to the Department, as the shareholder, the Minister through the Department analyses funding requests and ensures that transferred funds are properly used. Accountability instruments include quarterly and annual reports, monthly and quarterly accountability forums, and shareholder compacts.
For the year under review, the activities of the Department were structured into four programmes, which are:
- Programme 1: Administration
- Programme 2: Communication Policy, Research and Development
- Programme 3: Industry and Capacity Development
- Programme 4: Entity Oversight.
5.2 Key strategic objectives per programme
During the period under review the Department continued to allocate spending to the four programmes. Noting that there were no new activities during the year under review nor were there adequate funds allocated to the Department to ensure that it successfully delivers on its mandate.
5.2.1 Programme 1: Administration
The purpose of the programme is to provide strategic leadership, management and support services to the Department. The strategic objective for the year under review remained as to ensure compliance with statutory requirements and good governance practices by 2019.
220.127.116.11 Programme Performance
The programme has ensured that the Department receives a clean audit opinion from the AGSA for the year under review and continued in ensuring compliance of payment of suppliers within 30 days; 100 per cent (2 028 payments) of all compliant invoices received for the period under review were paid within 30 days. The final draft APP was submitted to the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME). The four quarterly reports on financial, compliance and performance audits were compiled against the Annual Operational Plan. During the period under review, the Legal Services directorate drafted contracts, MoUs (national and international) and initiated the processes of amending legislation. Legal Services also dealt with labour matters and provided legal opinions in all the matters that has legal implications. Legal Services further managed the litigation processes for the department. The Legal Services unit continued to provide services to both the GCIS and the Department.
The Department planned to spend 100 per cent of its budget in the fourth quarter of the financial year; however, 98 per cent of the total budget was spent due to slow spending on the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Project and Cabinet reshuffle that contributed to savings on compensation of employees. The Departmental risk mitigation progress report was compiled, highlighting the progress on mitigating the identified Departmental risks. Several planning sessions were held towards the review of the 2018/19 APP. The 2019/20 APP was finalised.
Another target that was not met during the financial year under review is that of Internal Audit where important financial reviews were not conducted. This can pose serious threats to the financial standing of the Department.
The Department delivered a presentation to the Committee on the 2018/19 Quarter 1 to Quarter 3 performance. The Department started the process of reconfiguring the ministries of telecommunications and postal services and communications into a single Ministry of Communications to ensure better alignment and coordination on matters that are critical to the future economy in the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).
In terms of linking performance with budgets under Programme 1, the Department Management sub-programme experienced the highest under expenditure of R152 000. The Corporate Services sub-programme experienced the second-highest under-expenditure of R85 000. In total, there was an under-expenditure of R281 000 under Programme 1. This is a commendable improvement from the previous financial year total under expenditure of R3.8 million over the same period.
In terms of achievement of planned targets, two of the ten planned targets were not achieved under this programme.
5.2.2 Programme 2: Communications Policy, Research and Development
The purpose of the programme is to conduct research, develop communications and broadcasting policies. The Department set two strategic objectives for the year under review, namely (i) improving universal access to broadcasting services by 2019; and (ii) broadening access to information all citizens by 2019.
18.104.22.168 Programme Performance
Within this programme, the Department reported the following achievements and reason for deviation:
By its own admission, the Department note that there is a rapid technologically changing environment evidenced by the ubiquitous proliferation of the social media platforms, Over-The-Top (OTT) Services, On Demand Services. While the country continues to struggle migrating its system from analogue to digital coupled by the complex and disruptive era of the 4IR.
In response, during the financial year, the Department started the process of finalising the draft White Paper on Audio-Visual and Digital Content Policy for South Africa through publishing an Issue Paper for public comment and whose inputs will be incorporated into the draft White Paper for resubmission to Cabinet. The Department also coordinated a Public Broadcasting Review Colloquium. A report on the recommendations from the Colloquium was developed and incorporated in the White Paper on Audio-Visual and Digital Content Policy for South Africa Bill.
The draft White Paper on Audio-Visual and Digital Content Policy for South Africa was finalised and submitted to the Cabinet committee for approval with the primary objective to review and position the sector in order to respond to the ever-changing digital environment brought about by the convergence of technologies.
The Department also coordinated a Community Media Summit in order to develop solutions to support initiatives that promote media freedom and a greater diversity. The Terms of Reference (ToR) for the establishment of a steering committee on Print Media Transformation and Diversity Charter was drafted. The Charter seeks to achieve diverse but shared outcomes for the transformation and implementation of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) for the main stream print media and publishing industry.
The rationalisation of the State Owned Entities (SOEs) has resulted in the process to review the (i) MDDA Amendment Act of 2002; and (ii) final White Paper on Audio-Visual and Digital Content Policy to be put on hold in order to accommodate the reconfiguration of the Departments.
Furthermore, the draft Charter on Media Transformation and Diversity was not developed during the year under review owing to consultations with the sector which was not done.
Consistent with the 2017/18 under-expenditure patterns, the Broadcasting Policy Sub-programme experienced the highest under-expenditure for 2018/19 financial years of R1.2 million and is nominally increased from R805 000 in 2017/18 financial years. Overall, the under-expenditure for the 2018/19 financial years is R1.5 million compared to R800 000 the previous financial year.
In terms of achievement of planned targets, three of the four planned targets were not achieved under this programme. Programme two constituted the largest non-performance for the Department for the reasons explained above.
5.2.3 Programme 3: Industry and Capacity Development
The purpose of the programme is to manage enterprise development, Broadcast Digital Migration (BDM) and industry research and analysis. The Department set two strategic objectives for the year under review, namely:
- Support the growth and development of the creative industries by 2019;
- Manage BDM by 2019;
- Strengthen support and interrelations with stakeholders by 2019; and
- Market the country locally and internationally to provide an enabling environment for investment by 2019.
22.214.171.124 Programme Performance
Access to information and the completion of the BDM Programme remains key priorities of the Department. Less than 11 percent of the subsidised poor television-owning households have been completed, including those in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) area.
By its own admission the Department acknowledges that this delay has not only resulted in South Africa missing the ITU deadline of June 2015, declaring its broadcasting signal vulnerable to unprotected interference; it has further brought uncertainty regarding the timelines for the immediate release of high-demand spectrum (digital dividend) required for mobile broadband services and the introduction of new entrants both in the telecoms and broadcasting sectors. Noting the slow progress to date, the revision to the current model was inevitable if South Africa is to make headway towards the completion of the project in a manner that is inclusive, affordable and efficient, and reduces the risk to Government.
Subsequent to the identification of the Free State and North West as flat terrain suitable for the distribution of terrestrial decoders, the Department aimed to achieve analogue switch-off by 31 December 2018 in the Free State. Due to delays with indigent registrations and the lack of DTT decoders in retail, complete analogue switch-off could not be achieved in the Free State. Switch-off was, however, realised in Senekal, where the first analogue television transmitters in the province was switched off.
At least 83 education and awareness campaigns were carried out, of which the majority were in the Free State. These included door-to-door campaigns making use of casual workers, radio outside broadcasts, ministerial Imbizo campaigns and making use of television in areas where Analogue Switch-Off was targeted.
By the end of the financial year, 1 012 518 of registrations had been recorded nationally, of which 326 368 was recorded between 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. A total of 509 073 installations have been completed across the country, of which 209 689 were carried out in the period between 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. In terms of the produced devices, by the end of the reporting period, 27 877 Direct-to-Home (DTH) additional satellite decoders were produced and delivered to the SAPO warehouses. A total of 891 870 decoders was therefore delivered to date to the SAPO. A total of 10 800 additional DTT antennae were also produced and delivered to the SAPO.
The Digital Migration Advisory Council was re-established, inaugurated and began with its work in July 2018. An executive director was appointed in July 2018 to lead the project management office. Working groups were also established to conduct subject matter expert work for the programme. These included Technology, Research and Analysis, Consumer Awareness, Education and Support, Funding and Economics, and Policy and Regulatory. The new delivery model will subsidise indigent households through a voucher which will cover 100% of the migration costs for each television-owning household. The Department has contracted Sentech to provide the call centre for viewer support.
On the Intergovernmental Relations and Stakeholder Management front, four bilateral engagements were coordinated with Lesotho, Russia, Namibia and China. The Department also coordinated engagements with other multilateral structures.
The Department has initiated an Audio-Visual Content Programme that aims to empower youth. The programme is addressing a need to empower SMMEs and to promote sectoral enterprise development. A pilot project was earmarked for the Free State through training of 25 youths on entrepreneurship skills. The training was conducted by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA). SEDA trained selected candidates through its EMPRETEC model that aims to empower candidates in setting up their own businesses or assist in charting a growth path for existing enterprises. The training took place in Bloemfontein in the Free State, from 19-25 November 2018. The broadcasters were engaged on exit opportunities for the trained producers.
In partnership with GCIS, a workshop was coordinated between Department entities and DEAFSA. The purpose of the workshop was to streamline and work with DEAFSA to address their concerns of marginalisation in the communications portfolio (in particular the absence of sign language interpreters, subtitling and captioning in SABC programmes).
The IGR coordinated an MOU with the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG) on the digital migration awareness. The purpose of the MOU is to formalise the working relationship between the DCoG and the Department to promote collaboration on the participation.
Changes to planned targets
The Department tabled its 2018/19 – 2020/21 APP on 15 March 2018. An assessment of a number of critical programmes that the Department is responsible for implementing was undertaken in May 2018, revealing the inevitable need for amendment of the 2018/19 – 2020/21 APP initially submitted to Parliament. The amendment to the APP contributed largely to the Department in meeting all planned targets for the financial year under review.
Under-expenditure under this programme was high at R24 million of R45 million for the year under review. Most underspend was registered under the BDM Subprogramme with only R14 million of R36 million actually spent.
5.2.4 Programme 4: Entity Oversight
The purpose of the programme is to monitor the implementation of policies by state-owned and regulatory institutions and to provide guidance and oversight on their governance matters.
The strategic objectives for the year under review were:
- Improve capacity of the entities to deliver by 2019; and
- Ensure viability and sustainability of SOEs by 2019.
126.96.36.199 Programme Performance
Within this programme, the Department reported the following achievements and none-achievements:
The Department had set itself two strategic objectives for the financial year under review, namely to improve capacity of the entities to deliver by 2019 as well as to ensure viability and sustainability of SOEs by 2019.
The Department continued working with SOEs to deliver on their mandates as well as ensuring adherence to good governance practices and to ensure that that they are financially viable.
During the year under review the overall achievement for the 2018/19 per SOE is Brand South Africa – 93 percent, FPB – 78,9 percent, MDDA – 63 percent, ICASA – 91 percent; and SABC is at 35 percent. The performance reviews highlighted issues of over and/or under-expenditure, cash flow shortages, non-compliance with the 30-day requirement to pay suppliers as well as a variety of issues that resulted into low achievement of planned targets.
The programme also developed two governance framework for the MDDA and the FPB in the 2018/19 financial year in order to improve governance and accountability at the two entities.
In terms of achievement of planned targets, two of the three planned targets were achieved under this programme owing to the five of 20 Quarterly Performance Report (QPR)sessions for the discussion of 2017/18 quarter four performance of SOEs not being coordinated as planned in quarter one of the 2018/19 financial year; even though the 2017/18 quarter four performance of SOEs was discussed during the 2018/19 quarter two.
The non-delivery of this target was due to the change of the Accounting Officer which subsequently impacted negatively on the approval of the plans to conduct sessions with SOEs over Quarterly Performance Report (QPR).
Changes to planned targets
The Department tabled its 2018/19 – 2020/21 APP on 15 March 2018. An assessment of a number of critical programmes that the Department is responsible for implementing was undertaken in May 2018, revealing the inevitable need for amendment of the 2018/19 – 2020/21 APP initially submitted to Parliament. A table is provided in the Annual Report under this Programme, explaining in detail the reasons for change.
Under-expenditure of around R1.3 million was experienced within the programme, and a majority of this underspend was witnessed on the Communications and Branding and Regulatory Institutions Sub-programmes at R512 000 and R505 000 respectively.
5.3 Strategic outcome-oriented goals
As mentioned previously, over the reporting period, the Department continued to focus on overseeing the implementation of Outcome 14, and its sub-outcomes of Fostering Constitutional Values, Equal Opportunities, Inclusion and Redress, Promoting Social Cohesion across Society through Increased Interaction across Race and Class, as well as Promoting Active Citizenry and Leadership. Illustrated below in table 1, the key achievements related to Outcome 14 of Nation-Building and Social Cohesion are outlined in table:
In terms of a Service Delivery Improvement Plan (SDIP), the Department highlights its achievement to date in the Annual Report; for more information, refer to Section 2.3 (Service Delivery Improvement Plan) of the Annual Report.
5.4 Overview of financial performance
The Department received an allocation of R1.5 billion for the financial year 2018/19 and there was underspending of R28 125 million. Expenditure as a percentage of final appropriation was 8.1 percent.
Annual appropriation increased by R87, 946 million. Normal escalation and additional funding for the DTT Project
The majority of the budget of R1 388 billion is allocated to Programme 4 (Entity Oversight). Only Programme 3 (Industry and Capacity Development) experienced the least expenditure of 45.4 percent for reasons provided in the performance information on the programme.
The budget allocation per programme was as follows:
Programme 1: Administration: R72 265 million
Programme 2: Communication Policy, Research and Development: R10 646 million
Programme 3: Industry and Capacity Development: R43 307 million
Programme 4: Entity Oversight: R1 388 028 billion.
5.4.1 Reasons for under/over expenditure
The underspending in programme 2 is due to slow spending on travelling, consultations and operating costs as a result of changed plans to do the consultations and roadshows to various provinces for the Audio Visual Strategy and the gazetting of the Draft White Paper on the Audio and Digital Content Policy.
The underspending in programme 3 is due to the review of the Digital Migration Model which resulted in slow spending on travelling costs, administration costs and other related costs for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) project.
5.4.2 Department Virements / Rollovers
Reprioritisation was applied within the vote mainly to fund the operations of the executive management in the Department.
The Department did not require to effect major virements between programmes after the AENE. A total of R1,974 million was shifted to Programme 1: Administration from other programmes as a result. The details of the virements effected after the AENE are reflected in the table below:
In terms of rollovers, the Department has applied for the roll-over on the savings realised and is still awaiting National Treasury’s approval from the 2018/19 financial year to the 2019/20 financial year. These funds will exclusively be used to fund commitments towards DTT awareness in Programme 3 and to fund the turnaround strategy of the SABC.
5.5 AGSA report
The table below illustrates the Audit outcomes of the last four financial periods beginning with the 2015/16 financial years.
Although for the 2017/18 reporting period, the Department received a clean audit opinion from the Auditor General, the 2018/19 financial year the Department received an unqualified audit opinion based on usefulness and reliability of the reported performance information in this regard.
Summary of Audit Outcomes for the last four financial periods
According to the Auditor-General’s report, material findings in respect of the usefulness and reliability of the selected programmes are as follows:
The Auditor-General did not raise any material findings on the usefulness and reliability of the reported performance information for these programmes:
Programme 2 – Communications policy, research and development
Programme 4 – Entity Oversight.
3.3.1 Programme 3: Industry and Capacity Development
The Auditor-General was unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to support the reported achievement of the target BDM programme implemented. This was due to inadequate technical indicator descriptions and proper performance management systems, processes and formal standard operating procedures that predetermined how the achievement would be measured, monitored and reported.
Furthermore, the Auditor-General was unable to confirm the reported achievement of the indicator by alternative means. Consequently, the AGSA was unable to determine whether any adjustments were required to the achievement of “BDM Programme was implemented and an annual report was compiled” as reported in the annual performance report.
On the Adjustment of Material Misstatements, the Auditor-General identified material misstatements in the annual performance report submitted for auditing. These material misstatements were on the reported performance information of Communications Policy, Research and Development, Industry and Capacity Development and Entity Oversight. As management subsequently corrected only some of the misstatements, the Auditor-General raised material findings on the usefulness and reliability of the reported performance information. Those that were not corrected are reported above.
Lastly, on the Internal control deficiencies, the Auditor-General found that management did not implement adequate review procedures to ensure that indicators and targets included in the annual performance plan were useful and that information reported in the annual performance report was adequately supported with appropriate evidence.
6. GCIS (a Department within a Department)
6.1 Mandate and legislative framework of the GCIS
The GCIS has both the Constitutional mandate as well as the legislative mandate. The table below seeks to unpack this:
1. Section 195(g) of the Constitution (1996) - Public should be provided with timely, accurate and accessible information.
2. Deepen democracy and sustain nation-building and patriotism by ensuring that the citizenry is informed about government programmes and that they are able to influence and participate in such programmes.
3. In 1998, the South African Communication Service was dissolved and the GCIS established by Cabinet, largely on the basis of recommendations contained in the report of the Task Group on Government Communications (Comtask: 1996: 58).
1. The Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act 1 of 1999), as amended.
2. Section 41: Cooperative governance values.
3. Section 195: Basic values and principles governing public administration.
4. Sections 231: International agreements.
5. The Medium Term Strategic Framework 2014-2019.
6. Framework for Strategic & Annual Performance Plans.
The GCIS was formally established in terms of Section 239 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 and as a strategic unit in The Presidency in terms of Section 7 of the Public Service Act, 1994 (Act 103 of 1994).
The organisation is mandated to coordinate, guide and advise on government communications, including media liaison, development communication and marketing. Its goal is to achieve integrated, coordinated and clear communications between government and South African citizens to enable the public involvement in the country’s transformation. The work of the GCIS is further informed by:
- The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996;
- The PFMA of 1999, as amended;
- International bilateral and multilateral agreements;
- National Treasury’s Framework for Strategic Plans and APPs; and
- The Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014-2019.
The role of communication in keeping citizens abreast of the work of government, unpacking opportunities and creating a sense of unity and purpose has never been more important. The resilient and flexible communication system we have built ensures South Africans remain abreast of key developments that take place within the country. GCIS communication is helping citizens across the length and breadth of our nation participate in, and enjoy the benefits of our hard-won democracy.
GCIS created relevant products and platforms to share critical information on government services and programmes as well as create opportunities to open the economy to more South Africans. Government has also made greater use of social media platforms to reach citizens.
6.2 GCIS mandate
The GCIS has three strategic outcome-oriented goals in support of the departmental mandate:
- A responsive, cost-effective, complaint and business-focused organisation;
- Professionalise the communication system by building a reliable knowledge base and through communication products; and
- Maintain and strengthen a well-functioning communication system that proactively informs and engages the public.
The link between the strategic goals and strategic objectives is illustrated below:
Broadly, the mandate is summarised as follows:
- Drive coherent messaging across the three spheres on the key priorities of government;
- Secure value for money in advertising;
- Take the executive to the people;
- Set, influence adherence to professional communication standards;
- Provide professional communication services and build communications capacity; and
- Proactively communicate with the public about government policies, plans programmes and achievements.
6.2.1 Strategic Outcome-Oriented Goals and organisational environment
The GCIS, a transversal strategic communication organisation, provides strategic communication support to the implementation of government’s 14 outcomes. However, the GCIS is responsible for delivering on Outcome 14 (Nation-building and social cohesion).
The National Development Plan: Vision 2030 emphasises the need to unite all South Africans around a common goal, ensure citizens are active in their own development, and build a capable and developmental state. This goal is expressed in Outcome 14 (a diverse, socially cohesive society with a common national identity) of government’s 2014-2019 MTSF. To support the realisation of this outcome, the GCIS identified seven performance indicators to support it.
The GCIS gives effect to the National Communication Strategy Framework (NCSF) 2014-2019 by providing strategic leadership in the development and implementation of effective departmental and provincial communication strategies.
A total 95 per cent of the 2018/19 performance targets were achieved (41 out of 43 targets) in the year under review. Below is a summary of performance highlights of the GCIS.
During 2018/19, the GCIS implemented 1 683 development communication activations aligned to the NCSF and driven by the priorities of government’s Programme of Action (PoA). Through direct and unmediated communication engagements in the 2018/19 financial year, over 53 million people were reached with government messages (some being repeat audiences).
A total of 3 894 outreach communication campaigns were implemented to facilitate active citizen participation in government programmes and over 10 million people were reached.
Some 286 radio products and services were implemented, including radio broadcasts, radio news bulletins, live link-ups, community radio phone-in programmes and recordings of government’s events. And this was against a target of 240.
A total of 22 editions of Vuk’uzenzele newspaper, making up 23 million copies of the newspaper, were published partly in all official languages and 1 200 copies of the Braille version of the newspaper were produced per month (600 copies per edition per fortnight).
A total 405 government communicators across three spheres of government were trained while 5 engagements with Heads of Communication were held. The GCIS also played a pivotal role in the Izimbizo Programme of Government by supporting 128 events during the 2018/19 financial year. These events are part of government’s public participation programme, which the GCIS supports for political principals.
6.3 Performance information by programme
The GCIS achieved 95 percent of its planned targets with only the Intergovernmental Coordination and Stakeholder Management programme achieving 12 of its 14 planned targets, see table on next page.
6.3.1 Programme 1: Administration
The purpose of this programme is to provide strategic leadership, overall management and support for the GCIS. The strategic objective is to provide adequate and effective Corporate Services functions in pursuit of good governance.
188.8.131.52 Programme Performance
The GCIS complied with the frameworks of the DPME by reviewing and publishing the 2019/20-2021/22 APP on the website during the financial year. It also complied and submitted the four quarterly performance reports (QPRs) to the Executive Authority, the DPME and National Treasury within the legislated time frames. The portfolio of evidence was audited quarterly against the reported achievements and contributed to a clean audit on performance information maintained during the 2017/18 financial year. Furthermore, the 2017/18 Annual Report was tabled in Parliament during September 2018.
During the period under review, the GCIS had an approved risk management framework with implementation plans, and a risk register comprising the strategic, operational, fraud and corruption risks. It reviewed the registers, monitored and reported quarterly to Management Committee, Audit Committee and Risk Committee on all of the 33 risks. Other key achievements include:
- The organisation finished the financial year with vacancy rate of 9.2 per cent vs 10 per cent target
- EE Targets:
- Target for Woman at SMS level was exceeded at 52 per cent vs 50 per cent target
- People with disability target was over achieved at 2.8 per cent vs 2 per cent target
- A 100 per cent of disclosure of financial interest was achieved at SMS level and designated groups
- A 99.9 per cent (5581 out of 5582) compliant invoices paid within 30 days.
The GCIS had a challenge of evaluating the impact of Government Communication Programmes (GCPs) owing to lack of capacity for evaluations. It has also not identified implementation programmes, which were a new requirement for the Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT). This led the department receiving a low score on the evaluation and implementation programmes for the MPAT.
6.3.2 Programme 2: Content Processing and Dissemination
The purpose of this programme is to provide strategic leadership in government communication to ensure coherence, coordination, consistency, quality, impact and responsiveness of government communication. The strategic objectives include:
- Produce government communication products and provide services to grow the share of voice of government messages in the public arena;
- Provide strategic leadership and support in government communication through public opinion research and analysis of media coverage to understand the communication environment and inform government messages; and
- Provide efficient and effective communication services.
184.108.40.206 Programme Performance
During the period under review, the government news agency, SAnews.gov.za, published more than 300 news and feature articles per month on average, on government’s PoA. Many of these news stories and feature articles were republished in the mainstream media and online web portals, giving added traction to government messages. The SAnews Twitter followers grew from 135 924 at the end of March 2018 to 179 000 by the end of March 2019. The SAnews Facebook likes increased to 28 869 during the same period.
Cabinet approved the Government Communication Policy in August 2018. The objective of the policy is to set norms and standards and professionalise communication across government.
The policy was communicated to all accounting officers at national, provincial and local government. The GCIS also conducted road shows to raise awareness on the policy.
campaigns for various programmes and services, and implemented 219 campaigns for the 2018/19 financial year. Under the programme, 23 million copies of Vuk’uzenzele newspaper were distributed and 69 marketing service requests were implemented. The department developed 2 380 media products for various government departments and agencies. In addition, the GCIS produced 429 radio news bulletins that were made available to community radio stations. Some 637 requests from government department for assistance with Corporate Identity were handled, 741 videos produced and 397 requests for photographs handled. Other key achievements include:
- Approved Government Communication Policy by Cabinet to establish norms and standards for government communicators;
- 23 million copies Vuk’uzenzele newspapers were produced and 1200 Braille copies Vuk’uzenzele newspaper were produced for the visible impaired citizens;
- The South African Government News Agency (SAnews.gov.za) published over 300 stories every month on government products;
- Research reports to inform clusters communication strategies; and
- Ensure that government information system keeps the public informed through the government website and the South African Year Book.
Challenges under this programme include a severely limited budget and overstretched staff capacity in the department prevented the news coverage of some of the government events, especially in the different provinces. This also adversely affected the ability of officials to work on projects to improve the content on the South African Government and GCIS websites, including the creation of social media content for the South African Government accounts. One of the debilitating disadvantages of the consistent use of freelancers is lack of consistency. Under-resourcing both in terms of personnel and finances. As a result, the print run of Vuk’uzenzele could not be increased to the desired number. This has also resulted in the limited implementation of GCIS priority campaigns. Furthermore, the inability to meet the high demand for media content analysis reports due to a lack of human capacity. Lack of resources to explore new technology for media analysis also impacts on the efficiency of the team. Other challenges are increased demand for monitoring and communication content, and an ageing IT infrastructure.
6.3.3 Programme 3: Intergovernmental Coordination and Stakeholder Management
The purpose of this programme is to implement the development communication, through mediated and unmediated communication channels and foster sound stakeholder relations and partnerships. The strategic objectives include:
- Improve interdepartmental coordination by joint planning and sharing of messages across the three spheres of government to ensure coherence and alignment of government messages.
- An informed and empowered citizenry on government’s policies, plans, programmes and achievements to increase public participation in government.
- Implement a proactive and reactive media engagement system by building, maintaining and improving relations with the media and drive the government communication agenda.
220.127.116.11 Programme Performance
Implementation of the NCSF saw the GCIS providing strategic leadership and communication support in the planning and implementation of major government campaigns across all clusters. This forms part of our major task in our broader endeavor to foster effective and efficient communication at all levels. The GCIS flagship projects include providing communication support to, amongst others, the SADC Media Awards; SoNA; National Orders; National Days; Izimbizo outreach programme by political principals and Operation Phakisa.
The GCIS made significant strides in implementing development communication in the past year against constrained financial and HR capacity. Between April 2018 and March 2019, it provided strategic leadership and communication support in the planning and implementation of the government campaigns in each cluster. Solid progress has also been made in maintaining and strengthening a well-functioning communication system that drives information programmes.
Media Engagement drove interaction and communication between government and the media on issues of national importance and this resulted in sufficient effective liaison between Ministers and the media through hosting of ongoing media briefings and key briefings on the Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu centenaries, anti-corruption campaign and SoNA.
The chief directorate ensured the management of ongoing media liaison services to government by providing government information; establishing, strengthening and maintaining working relationships with local and foreign media by hosting media engagements on the GBV campaign and strengthening relations with campus media.
- Provided strategic leadership and communication support in planning and implementation of transversal communication campaigns;
- The daily Rapid Response platform analysed and provided recommendations for proactive/reactive communication on issues in the national and international communication environment;
- Successfully led the 100 Men March against Gender Based Violence in collaboration with various stakeholders, across all the provinces;
- A total 18 post-Cabinet media briefings and/or media statements were issues to communicate the Cabinet decisions to the public; and
- Held 38 strategic engagements with the media against the target of 33, to drive the government’s communications agenda.
Among the challenges, GCIS reported on the following:
Delays in filling vacancies in provinces are impacting heavily on achieving the mandate of the GCIS. There has been an increased demand for the support of provincial offices to the outreach work of other departments. A limited and reduced budget has impacted on the scale and scope of doing community and stakeholder visits. Local community protests cause inadequate face-to-face engagement with communities.
Ageing and limited infrastructure and technology created bottlenecks in production processes. Procurement of media space/community radio remains a huge challenge. National Treasury prescripts and regulations do not accommodate or are not geared towards the procurement of media. This administrative burden in acquiring media space creates delays in the value chain.
The lack of financial and HR continues to be a major challenge. The chief directorate was forced to cover a large volume of work with limited staff capacity.
6.4 GCIS overall programme financial performance
This section analyses the financial statements, final appropriation and expenditure for 2018/19 as well as virements and rollovers.
The GCIS was initially allocated R420.5 million for the 2018/19 financial year. The original appropriation increased with R3.1 million to R423.6 million during the Adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure (AENE) due to the projected recovery of self-financing expenditure through other government departments’ participation in procuring advertising space in the fortnightly Vuk’uzenzele newspaper to advertise vacant posts.
6.4.1 Financial report
Of the allocated budget, the GCIS spent R411.3 million (97.1%), resulting in an underspending of around R12.3 million (2.9%), comprising R10.6 million in respect of Compensation of Employees (CoE), R237 000 in respect of Transfers and Subsidies (Households) due to lesser payments to former employees in respect of leave discounting and leave gratification, lesser payments in respect of SABC TV licences than projected as well as approximately R1.5 million in respect of operational funds.
The savings within CoE (which is an earmarked budget as per the Appropriation Act) at year-end are attributed to attrition of staff and vacant posts in the three programmes as well as secondment of staff to other departments which refunded the GCIS for salaries and related costs.
The underspending in the operational budget relate mainly to outstanding invoices from service providers, lesser recovery of self-financing expenditure in respect of the advertising of vacant posts in Vuk’uzenzele newspaper, communication, and subsistence and travel expenditure that was lower than anticipated, and the funding of the write-off of theft and losses. The GCIS continues to adhere to sound financial management principles as stipulated in the PFMA of 1999, and National Treasury Regulations. To ensure that the GCIS maintains sound financial governance that is client-focused and responsive to the overall operating environment, the financial policies are reviewed annually to ensure that they still comply with the PFMA of 1999 as well as National Treasury Instructions and prescripts. Financial policies and related amendments are made available to all GCIS staff. Financial circulars are also issued to staff from time to time as guided by National Treasury and the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA).
The budget allocation and expenditure over two financial years and per programme were as follows:
As mentioned previously, the GCIS spent 97.1 per cent of its allocated budget (as compared to 98.1 per cent spent in 2017/18) and realised a net saving of R12.306 million (2.9%) in the 2018/19 financial year.
The underspending is mainly attributed to vacant posts (R10.6 million; under collection of self-financing expenditure of advertising revenue of vacant posts in Vuk’uzenzele newspaper (R1.126 million), outstanding invoices in respect of State Information Technology Agency (SITA) computer services, communication expenditure and subsistence and travel expenditure that was lower than anticipated, as well as the funding of the write-off of theft and losses; R237 000 in respect of Transfers and Subsidies (Households) due to lesser payments to former employees in respect of leave discounting and leave gratification, lesser payments in respect of SABC TV licences than projected.
The appropriation for CoE was specifically and exclusively appropriated, resulting therein that the budget for CoE may not be used for any other purpose. Notwithstanding the underspending in CoE, the GCIS experienced funding pressures within the operational budget.
6.4.2 GCIS Virements / rollovers
No rollover of funds was effected from the 2018/19 to the 2019/20 financial years. Virements within the Goods and Services economic classification and between programmes were applied, which resulted in the net increase in the appropriation of Programme 3: Intergovernmental Coordination and Stakeholder Management of R2.280 million while Programme 1: Administration was decreased with R2.132 million and Programme 2: Content Processing
and Dissemination with R148 000.
The virement was necessitated at the finalisation of the 2019 Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) when the GCIS received a revised budget baseline allocation letter from National Treasury, reflecting budget reductions over the 2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period.
After the 2018 AENE, virement was applied mainly to R3.9 million that was shifted from Goods and Services to Capital Assets to fund the procurement of machinery and equipment (R3.783 million) and the upgrading/additions of office accommodation (R123 000).
6.5 GCIS AGSA report
The Auditor-General performed procedures to obtain evidence about the usefulness and reliability of the reported performance information for the following selected programmes presented in the annual performance report of the GCIS for the year ended 31 March 2019:
- Programme 2: Content Dissemination and Processing
- Programme 3: Intergovernmental Coordination and Stakeholder Management.
The GCIS received an unqualified opinion with no findings (a clean audit outcome for the 2018/19 financial year) based on usefulness and reliability of the reported performance information in this regard.
No material findings on the usefulness and reliability of the reported performance information was raised in terms of the programmes used for the audit. No material findings on compliance with the specific matters in key legislation set out in the general notice issued in terms of the PAA were raised.
The Auditor-General did not did not identify any significant deficiencies in internal control.
The table below illustrates the audit outcomes of the previous five financial years of the GCIS. The GCIS has over the past three financial years successfully instilled fiscal discipline on expenditure trends that are non-core to the business of the department. Over three financial years the GCIS has received clean audits from the Auditor-General.
Table: Summary of Audit Outcomes for the last four financial periods
Financially unqualified with no findings
Financially unqualified with no findings
Financially unqualified with no findings
7. Public entities reporting to the Department
Government recognizes State-Owned Companies (SOCs) as strategic instruments of industrial policy. This, among other things, means that SOCs’ key programmes must be integrated into the broader industrial policy and economic cluster programme of government, both in terms of funding and policy support. SOCs are to reflect in their mandates the socio-political objectives of government. To do so, they will need to create a delicate balance between SOCs’ strategic purposes and SOCs’ commercial viability.
Thus SOCs need to reach towards the twin goals of attaining the country’s socio-economic developmental goals and maximising operational efficiency and financial sustainability.
The Department is responsible for overarching communications policy and strategy, information dissemination and publicity as well as branding the country locally and abroad. Improved communications will promote an informed citizenry and will also assist the country to promote investments, economic growth and job creation.
Before the President’s pronouncement, the Department originally comprised five public entities, namely Brand South Africa, the FPB, ICASA, the MDDA and the SABC. Following the restructuring, only SABC, FPB and ICASA remained. The MDDA has been transferred for reporting purposes back to the Portfolio Committee on Communications.
According to the Auditor-General’s reporting, there was disregard for compliance with legislation by two entities of the Department, namely the SABC and ICASA. The top five non-compliance areas include:
- Prevention of unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure (SABC, ICASA);
- Quality of financial statements (SABC, ICASA);
- Management of procurement and contracts (SABC, ICASA);
- Consequence management (SABC, ICASA); and
- Revenue management (SABC).
7.1 Film and Publication Board (FPB) – R103 million
The FPB regulates and controls the creation, production, possession, exhibition and distribution of films, interactive computer games and certain publications in terms of the Films and Publications Act of 1996. The board is also responsible for monitoring age-restricted business premises for compliance with their licence and registration terms.
The nature of operations of the FPB include:
- the protection of children against premature exposure to adult experiences and harmful materials; particularly films, games and publications;
- conducting of awareness programmes that inform and educate the public about films, videos and games that are harmful to children;
- conducting of research on human trafficking;
- monitoring compliance with the Films and Publications Act of 1996;
- development and implementation of a content regulation framework that ensures 100 per cent classification and labelling of classifiable content distributed on online, mobile and related platforms; and
- implementation of programmes aimed at cyber-safety and child online protection.
7.1.1 Performance highlights
In spite of operational challenges, the FPB has achieved 79% of its annual performance targets. The FPB remains focused on its mandate, the dictates of the Constitution as well as the NDP, underpinned by the principles of Ubuntu and Batho Pele.
The FPB processed 3 414 distributor registrations, 607 of which were rejected due to non-adherence to requirements stipulated in the Act. Some 2 807 licences were issued, a combination of new registrations and renewals.
There was a slight increase in the number of renewals received, with 3 414 renewals during the year compared to 3 401 in the previous year. This can be attributed to robust compliance monitoring activities.
In the 2018/2019 financial year, 1 540 eligible titles were classified or exempted from full classification. During the financial year, there was a 50 per cent increase in the number of film festivals that have complied with exemption requirements. This amounted to more than 427 individual titles screened during 12 festivals with a running time of 17 757 minutes (296 hours or 37 working days). The cost to the FPB outweighs the tariff charged for film festival exemptions and exceeded R200 000 in 2018/2019.
During the year, a total of 198 games were submitted to the FPB for classification, 38 (19.2 per cent) of which were suitable for all children to play with parental guidance. There were six appeals against the FPB classification decisions in 2018/2019 compared to four in the previous year.
In 2018/2019, the FPB conducted 1 896 online inspections (104 per cent against annual target), 736 quality assurance inspections on online distributors (131 per cent of annual target) and 668 social network platform inspections (108 per cent of annual target).
The FPB assisted law enforcement with the analysis of 16 cases that contained 239 922 content elements. Twenty-three cases were referred by the SAPS to the FPB, an increase of 28 per cent year on year, attributed to improved relationships, increased awareness and better expertise in analysis of child pornography and Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). Most of the cases referred to the FPB were from Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Queries during the year totaled 2 113, of which 96 per cent were resolved within the targeted turnaround times.
7.1.2 Financial performance
Total revenue for the Board amounted to R103 million as indicated in table below. With low expenditure trends, a surplus of R7 million was evident. In the main this is a recurring trend from the previous reporting year. Operational grant from the Department equals R94 million while other income accounts for R930 000.
A total number of classifiers was 40 for period ended 31 March 2019 and the total amount paid for classifiers remuneration amounted to R5 717 175 (31 March 2018: R 5 505 165) excluding PAYE. Consulting fees – The reduction in consulting fees was mainly due to a reversal of a litigation provision in the current year relating to Inxeba.
Recruitment – The recruitment fees were reduced because the recruitment process was done in-house and not through the agencies.
Local travel – The travel costs were reduced as a result of cost containment by management.
7.1.3 Audit opinion
Table: Summary of Audit Outcomes for the last three financial years
Film and Publications Board
Financially unqualified with findings
Financially unqualified with findings
Financially unqualified with no findings
The entity’s audit opinion has improved from the previous year from unqualified audit with findings to unqualified audit opinion without findings.
The FPB is encouraged to focus on processes to ensure that information supporting the quarterly reports and annual performance reports is accurate and the APR is consistent with the APP. The entity is further encouraged to ensure record keeping control are strengthened that will enable easily retrievable of information that will be readily available when requested for audit.
The FPB should focus on an action plan to address findings on the financial statements to maintain a clean audit outcome in next financial year.
The irregular expenditure declined in the current financial year compared to the previous financial year because of the reversal of the amount related to a contract for after-hours call routing. The entity negotiated a lesser settlement amount than what was initially reported.
The additions to the irregular expenditure is due to the following:
- Website maintenance of R 114 912 that arose due to error between the proposals as they were for 12 months and yet the actual signed SLA were for 24 months.
Material increase of fruitless and wasteful expenditure is due to:
- Payment of interest and penalty to SARS for late submission of EMP201 to the value of R93 780; and
- Payment of acting allowance for non-vacant posts to the value of R469 988.
Amounts recovered relate to missed flight expenditure incurred in the previous year.
The FPB was in the process of investigating the new irregular and fruitless expenditure and where necessary disciplinary measures will be taken. Internal controls would also be tightened to avoid these expenses.
7.2 Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) – R459 million
ICASA was established by the ICASA Act of 2000, as amended, to regulate the South African communications, broadcasting and postal services sectors. The regulator’s mandate is defined in the Electronic Communications Act (ECA) of 2005 as licensing and regulating electronic communications and broadcasting services, and in the Postal Services Act, 1998 (Act 124 of 1998) as regulating the postal services sector. Enabling legislation also empowers the regulator to monitor licensee compliance with licence terms and conditions, develop regulations for the three sectors, plan and manage the radio frequency spectrum and protect consumers in relation to these services.
The nature of its operations include:
- Conducting of advocacy and awareness campaigns;
- Monitoring of spectrum interference;
- Implementation of DTT projects;
- Monitoring of the activities of postal and broadcasting licensees; Implementation of customer relationship management; and
- Use of spectrum management tools to ensure the optimal use of the high-demand radio frequency spectrum by licence holders.
It is mandated to regulate electronic communications, broadcasting and postal sectors in the public interest as well as to ensure affordable services of high quality for all South Africans.
7.2.1 Performance highlights
The Authority planned targets 71 for the 2018/19 financial year, of which 65 were achieved and 11 were not achieved. Over the past four years, the 2018/19 financial year is a highlight for the Authority in that it performed well with 91.4 per cent achievement of its annual target. This is a meteoric rise when compared to the measly 29 per cent of achievement during the 2015/16 financial years; and has boosted the four-year average to 71.5 per cent.
ICASA’s performance environment for the financial year was characterised by (i) increased demand / calls for release of additional spectrum; (ii) civil society campaigns for reduced data prices; (iii) relocation of ICASA’s head office during Q3 of the financial year; (iv) reduced budget allocation over the MTEF period; and (v) advancements in technology and innovation (focus on 4IR, 5G etc.).
Key performance highlights for the financial year under review can be summarised in the infographic below:
Contributing factors for areas of non-achievement include extensions granted on consultation processes, verification of delivery of services / goods prior to payment, and modest operational disruption due to relocation.
The total combined revenue for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal services sectors increased from R204 million in 2017 to R229 million at the end of 2018.
The ICT sector share of the GDP was at 3 per cent. The telecommunications sector accounted for two-thirds of the sector’s contribution to GDP at 1.9 per cent.
The total investment spent in the telecommunications sector decreased by 1,5 per cent from R47.6 million in 2017 to R46.9 million at the end of 2018 with the cellular operators accounting for R19.5 million.
The General Household Survey (GHS) showed that in 2017 the proportion of households with access to the internet was at 61,8 per cent.
7.2.2 Financial Performance
As reflected in table below, the total budget for the year under review was R459 million; whilst expenditure was R487 million representing deficit of R27 million (see table below). The Authority received its funding from the Department in order to enable it to carry out its mandate as laid out in the ICASA Act. The grant received from the Department consisted of an original allocation of R443 million.
Table: Statement of Financial Performance
The bank balance of R 45 692 419 recorded on 31 March 2019 will not be sufficient to fund the total amount of R 94 813 637 required for all expenses accrued at the end of the financial year. This will mean that the Authority will finance a budget deficit of R 32 238 530 from the 2019-20 budget allocation.
To mitigate the adverse impact of the above, management implemented the following measures:
- Operating expenditure budget for 2019-20 financial year was reduced further to allow sufficient budget for both rolled - over projects and new projects;
- A moratorium on recruitment for vacant positions for the first nine months of the 2019-20 financial year was also implemented to manage the employee cost budget; and
- The proposed budget reprioritisation will assist the Authority to achieve its targets as per the current APP for 2019/20 financial year within the limitations of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) allocation.
The annual financial statements for the 2018/19 financial year ended 31 March 2019 have been prepared on the basis that the Authority would continue to operate in the foreseeable future based on the following indicators:
- The Authority is wholly dependent on the grant allocation received from National Treasury through the Executive Authority (Minister of Communications) to continue to operate as a going concern.
- There are currently no indications that the approved grant allocation of R452 645 000 for the 2019/20 financial year will be discontinued. This basis presumes that funds will be available to finance future operations and realisation of the assets and settlement of liabilities, contingent liabilities and commitment will occur in the ordinary course of the business.
Reasons for variance between budget amounts and revenue is because (i) income from investments declined during the financial year, the Authority did not have cash reserves at its disposal following a request from National Treasury to surrender surplus funds; (ii) the total grant allocated for the current financial year was received from the Department of Communications; and (iii) a total amount of R1 548 726 was realised from deferred grants during the financial year and insurance claim settlements were also received by the Authority during the current financial year.
Of the unspent conditional grant balance of R7 810 214in the previous year, it mainly relates to ICASA’s infrastructure needs. The Automated Spectrum Management System contract’s outstanding amount of R6 956 363 would be finalised by 31 September 2019.
A total of R853 851 (2018: R1 805 733) was recognised as revenue in the current year. The balance of R6 956 363 (2018: R7 810 214) is shown as an unspent conditional grant. We have applied for permission to retain 100 per cent of the funds from National Treasury for funds committed and contractual obligations finalised by 31 March 2019.
7.2.3 Audit opinion
Table: Summary of Audit Outcomes for the last three financial periods
Financially unqualified with findings
Financially unqualified with findings
Financially unqualified with findings
The AG opinion for the Authority has not changed for the past three financial years.
The key areas identified for non-compliance include (i) prevention of unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure; (ii) quality of financial statements; (iii) management of procurement and contracts; and (iv) consequence management.
For the year under review, the following notes were made by the AG as reasons for opinion:
Effective and appropriate steps were not taken to prevent irregular expenditure disclosed in note 34 to the annual financial statements, as required by section 38(1)(c)(ii) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and regulation 9.1.1.
Disciplinary steps were not taken against officials who incurred or permitted irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure as required by section 38(1)(h)(iii) of the PFMA.
Some of the losses resulting from fruitless and wasteful expenditure were not recovered from the liable persons, as required by treasury regulation 9.1.4.
Payments are made within 30 days or an agreed period after receipt of an invoice, as required by treasury regulation 8.2.3 for all service providers.
Some goods and services with a transaction value below R500 000 were procured without obtaining the required price quotations, as required by treasury regulation 16A6.1.
Some contracts were extended or modified without the approval of a properly delegated official as required by section 44 of the PFMA and treasury regulations 8.1 and 8.2.
Some contracts and quotations were awarded to bidders that did not score the highest points in the evaluation process, as required by section 2(1)(f) of Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act and Preferential Procurement Regulations.
7.3 Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) – R83 million
The MDDA was set up in terms of the MDDA Act of 2002 to enable historically disadvantaged communities and individuals to gain access to the media. The mandate of the agency is to create an enabling environment for media development and diversity which reflects the needs and aspirations of all South Africans; redress the exclusion and marginalisation of disadvantaged communities and people from access to the media and the media industry; and promote media development and diversity by providing support primarily to community and small commercial media projects. The overall objective of the agency is to ensure that all citizens can access information in a language of their choice, and to transform media access, ownership and control patterns in South Africa.
The nature of operations includes:
Provision of technical, non-financial and financial support to diverse media platforms; provision of support to the increased participation of communities in ownership and control of community and small commercial media; provision of community media grants; promotion of ownership, control and access to information and content production by communities; enhancement of ownership, participation and control of print and digital media by independent media entrepreneurs; creation and enhancement of a body of knowledge of the media landscape; and the building of capacity for a diverse media industry.
The entity has three strategic outcome-orientated goals and functions through five programmes: Governance and Administration; Grant and Seed Funding; Partnerships, Public Awareness and Advocacy; Capacity Building and Sector Development; and Innovation, Research and Development.
The mandate speaks, among others, to encouraging ownership of, and access to, media by HDGs as well as by historically diminished indigenous language and cultural groups; encouraging the development of human resources and training and capacity building within the media industry, especially amongst HDGs; encouraging the channelling of resources to community media sectors and raising public awareness with regard to media development and diversity issues; and supporting initiatives which promote literacy and a culture of reading. The Entity also encourages research regarding media development & diversity and liaise with other statutory bodies such as ICASA and USAASA.
7.3.1 Performance highlights
The past year ended on a positive note for the Agency, as it saw a markedly improved performance over previous years, with an 80 per cent achievement of the targets set for the key performance indicators (KPIs) outlined in the MDDA’s Annual Performance Plan for 2018/2019. This translates to 16 out of the 20 annual targets achieved and speaks positively to the contribution the MDDA makes to the community media sector.
The Community Media Summit was attended by more than 150 stakeholders across the sector and the Project Funding approvals accounted for 20 Broadcast Projects and 12 Community and SCM print projects.
Election reporting was conducted across community print and broadcast projects in all nine provinces. The New Funding Policy was drafted in order to strengthen funding and selection criteria and the introduction of the call for applications with cut-off dates. Lastly, there was an extensive MDDA Internal Policy Review process undertaken.
The MDDA invested over R484 908.40 in various development programmes spanning bursaries and short courses for its staff. Further, a medical aid subsidy of R1 701.87 per month was offered for the 2018/2019 financial year. In this regard and in order to ensure that employees enjoy the full benefits of the service, it is compulsory for employees at the MDDA to join the medical aid scheme.
7.3.2 Financial performance
Broadcast funders’ contribution equals 59 per cent of total MDDA revenue. The print industry did not contribute to the MDDA in 2018/19 financial year. The executive continues to lobby industry to sustain revenue contributions. The funders breakfast was held annually to encourage funders to contribute to the MDDA and to highlight industry’s impact on the sector. Government grants only covered operational costs. The MDDA’s revenue amounted to R83 million in the year under review and total expenditure was at R 82 million (see table on top of next page).
The amount included in investment revenue arising from exchange transactions amounted to R5 638 611 (2018: R5 161 566). Total interest income, calculated using the effective interest rate, on financial instruments was not at fair value and has a surplus of R5 638 611 (2018: R5 161 566).
Non-compliance on reporting by grant beneficiaries resulted in 14 per cent decrease in grant expenditure for 2018/19 financial year. Grantee orientations have been held in the 2019/20 financial year for inducting beneficiaries on MDDA reporting requirements. Positions were temporarily filled by secondees from GCIS and the Department and contract appointments.
The MDDA incurred R82 000 in fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the 2017/2018 financial year; and while it is a negligible amount, it is a regress when compared to the non-existence of such expenditure during the previous reporting period. This still warrants the organisation to be held accountable for taxpayer’s money. There was an increase in irregular expenditure for the reporting period. Irregular expenditure was at R3 214 000 and mostly caused by non-compliance with the Supply Chain Management Regulations. However, when compared to the previous reporting period, the Agency can be commended for halving the irregular expenditure.
The contingent liabilities and litigations refer to a legal dispute between the MDDA and Joburg Post in respect of the funding agreement signed between the two parties. The financial exposure was R384 600 depending on the outcome of the dispute. The case is currently being heard by the courts.
During the 2016/17 financial year, the MDDA entered into an MoU with the Department of Communications for broadcast equipment support for broadcast projects for an amount of R21 million. The remainder of the R19.8 million grant will be realised as revenue as the installations occur. During the year 2008/9 financial year, the MDDA entered into another MoU with the Department of Communications for programme production project for an amount of R20 million. The remainder of the R5.8 million grant will be realised as revenue as the spending occurs.
The Competition Commission fines different role players within the media industry and requested the MDDA to implement remedial projects on its behalf. The remainder of the R5.6 million grant will be realised as revenue as the spending occurs.
Lastly, during the 2018/19 financial year, the MDDA received R20 000 in donations from private donors and there were no conditions attached to the donations.
7.3.3 Audit opinion
There were material findings on the audit of predetermined objectives (AOPOs) on Programme 4: Capacity Building and Sector Development.
The MDDA has received the same audit outcome (unqualified with findings) for four different reporting periods. The basis of the audit opinion in the reporting period is as follows:
The AG drew attention to the fact that at 31 March 2019, the entity had an accumulated surplus of R 84 683 160 and that the entity's total assets exceeded its liabilities by R84 683 160. The statement of financial performance shows a surplus of R11 763 026.
Pertaining to programme 4 specifically, the AG was unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence for the reported achievement of the number of training interventions aimed at capacitating the community media in key sustainability indicator. This was due to a lack of standard operating procedures that predetermined how the achievement would be measured, monitored and reported. The AGSA was unable to confirm the reported achievement by alternative means. Consequently, I was unable to determine whether any adjustments were required to the reported achievement as reported in the annual performance report.
Further, the AG identified material misstatements in the annual performance report submitted for auditing. These material misstatements were on the reported performance information of Programme 4. As the misstatements were not quantifiable, management has not corrected the misstatements and the AGSA raised material findings on the usefulness and reliability of the reported performance information.
7.4 South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) – R6.4 billion
The SABC is listed as a Schedule 2 public entity in terms of the PFMA of 1999. Its mandate is set out in its charter and in the Broadcasting Act of 1999, as amended, and requires it to provide radio and television broadcasting services to South Africa. The nature of operations includes Radio broadcasting; television broadcasting; implementation of digital terrestrial migration and technology; programming and development of local content; expansion of commercial radio stations to increase the organisation’s audience share; and digitisation of value chain and distribution platforms.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation is one of the key institutional pillars of our democracy, delivering essential content to millions of South Africans on multiple platforms and in 14 different languages, on a daily basis and remains one of South Africa’s biggest national treasures.
SABC TV consists of three free-to-air (FTA) channels and two other channels carried on a subscription digital satellite network. The channels deliver top-quality local and international content in all South Africa’s languages through-out the nation. SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 attract on average 27.9 million South African viewers in a typical month.
The mandate of the SABC, as a Public Broadcaster, is embedded in a range of statutes, regulations, policies, codes of conduct and licence conditions. In addition to its legislative and regulatory obligations, the SABC Board is responsible for the control and direction of the affairs of the Corporation as set out in the SABC’s Memorandum of Incorporation (MoI), as approved by the Shareholder, represented by the Minister of Communications. The relationship between the SABC, its Board and the Shareholder is governed by a Shareholder Compact, reviewed and renewed on an annual basis. The MoI and the Shareholder Compact ensure that the Corporation complies with the essential pillars of a governance framework, which includes the Broadcasting Act, the Companies Act, the PFMA and the Constitution.
As the only Public Service Broadcaster, the SABC must offer a range of informative, educational and entertainment programmes that showcase South African attitudes, opinions, ideas, values, talent and artistic creativity.
7.4.1 Performance Information
The SABC’s dire financial situation worsened during the 2018/19 financial year and the Corporation ended March 2019 with a cash balance of only R72 million. Its cash flow is depleted and consequently the SABC could not honour payments to service providers, adhere to its committed contracts, and commission local content productions.
Losses have decreased over the past number of years from R1 billion in 2016/17, to R744 million in 2017/18, and to R482 million in 2018/19 – this is a 35 per cent improvement. However, the SABC’s financial position remains severe.
Revenue declined by 3 per cent to R6.4 billion, impacting further on the SABC’s severe liquidity constraints. Total expenses declined by 6 per cent or R475 million. The underspending was mainly as a result of the liquidity constraints that resulted in the significant curtailment of investment in content, infrastructure, repairs and maintenance and marketing.
The Corporation further pursued cost containment measures actively and is encouraged by the commitment to and achievement of the various identified initiatives. The main contributors to the losses where as a result of sporting events, the decline in revenue and interest incurred as a result of the liquidity constraints.
The SABC’s liquidity constraints resulted in an increase in total liabilities, of which the main contributing factor was the increase in the trade and other payables that amounted to R1.6 billion as at 31 March 2019 with creditor payment days nearing 143 days.
During the year under review, the SABC placed extra-ordinary effort in improving its internal controls and ensuring that governance is restored in the Corporation. Encouraging is the decline in irregular expenditure by 41 per cent to R 336 million. The SABC performed very well in contributing to nation-building and social cohesion by acquiring and scheduling content that reflects the South African story on both its radio and television platforms.
A total 74 per cent of local music was played on the SABC’s public service radio stations. The SABC’s television programmes still demand the highest audience share during prime time and its radio stations commands an unbeatable share of 72,6 per cent. Digital media platforms are gaining traction and the SABC developed an SABC News app and Election’s Website in time for the national elections.
The SABC’s social media platforms are also attracting millions of followers. SABC1 and SABC3 started broadcasting in High Definition (HD) on DSTV and DTT in June 2018. The introduction of HD ensured that audiences enjoy a picture quality that is clearer and crispier than was the case with normal Standard Definition.
However, the SABC ended the financial year with a loss of R482 million.
The SABC also initiated two Commissions of Inquiry, one into sexual harassment and another into the editorial independence of the organisation. Recommendations are being implemented where required.
Various investigations by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) were also conducted to root out wrong-doing within the organisation. This led to a number of disciplinary hearings and the subsequent dismissal of employees who were found guilty of misconduct.
Lastly, the SABC was recognised though a variety of awards, including the Liberty Radio Awards, Promax Awards, Afrikaans Media Awards as well as the South African Traditional Music Awards.
7.4.2 Financial performance
As mentioned above, financial net loss for the year was R482.4 million which is a 35 per cent improvement and a 107 per cent cost to income. Contributing factors to the net loss include decline in advertising revenue (-5 per cent), interest on late payments and overdue accounts (R23 million), as well as sports rights with a net loss of R406 million. However, revenue was at R6.4 billion and demonstrated a decline of 3 per cent (R166.4 million).
Advertising revenue at R4.5 billion (2018: R4.7 billion) made up 70 per cent of total revenue. Of the total advertising revenue, R2.9 billion (2018: R3.1 billion) is from television advertising. Advertising revenue declined by 6 per cent under pressure from lower investment in content that is negatively affecting channel viewership, the general depressed media market and competition from digital platforms.
Radio stations’ advertising revenue contributed R1.6 billion, a growth of R35 million from the previous year. This was driven by growth in Fortune 4 with Radio 2000 advertising revenue improving by 143 per cent during the 2018/19 financial year and Africa Language Stations (ALS) improving by a total of R23 million.
Furthermore, the SABC reported TV licence revenue of R986 million with collection costs of R117 million (12 per cent collection cost rate).
Total assets equaled R5,3 billion which is an increase of R1.1 billion from the 2017/18 financial year. Total asset growth is mainly actuarial gains on the defined benefit asset of R1.2 billion. When compared to the latter mentioned financial year, there was a 6 per cent decline of R475 million in total expenses to an amount of 7 billion. This decline in the current year is due to the previous period error which was processed in the current year relating to SAFA rights.
Total liabilities for the public broadcaster amounted to R3.8 billion with current liabilities at R2.4 billion. Total liabilities increased by R300 million due to increase in Trade and Other Payables by R502 million and decrease of provisions by R184 million.
On a positive note, a special appropriation of R3.2 billion was approved by Cabinet on 23 July 2019. This will be given to the SABC in tranches (once pre-conditions are met).
7.4.3 Audit opinion
Of significant importance is the Corporation’s AGSA opinion that improved from a disclaimer opinion for the 2017/18 financial year, to a qualified opinion for the year under review. While the SABC continued to face liquidity challenges in the current year, it is expected that the receipt of financial support will help alleviate the situation.
There is material uncertainty as to whether the SABC can continue to operate in future for the following reasons:
- The SABC incurred a net loss of R482 million (2017-18: R744 million). The decrease in the loss is mainly due to a decline in revenue over the previous year (3 per cent) whilst a decrease in expenditure (6 per cent) resulting in lower operating losses for the period.
- A regression was noted in the cash balances at year-end compared to the previous year. The cash balances were significantly lower than the required minimum cash balance of R600 million determined by the board. The cash balances were also significantly lower than current liabilities.
- Net assets increased by 95 per cent from R716 million as at 31 March 2018 to R1.4 billion. This is primarily due to a significant increase in the defined benefit asset of R1.2 billion. Excluding the impact of this, net assets have effectively reduced significantly.
Though fruitless and wasteful expenditure increased, the majority of the amount reported for the 2018/19 financial year related to transactions incurred in previous years, notably 63 per cent or R141 million. Of the remaining R83 million, R81 million was incurred as a result of interest and penalties due to late payments associated with the liquidity constraints.
Irregular expenditure of R235 million, fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R224 million, of which R141 million related to the 2017/18 financial year, was recorded.
With that said, the SABC was able to clear 81 per cent of all its external audit findings before year-end.
The key areas identified for non-compliance include (i) prevention of unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure; (ii) quality of financial statements; (iii) management of procurement and contracts; (iv) consequence management; and (v) revenue management.
8. Standing Committee on Appropriations (SCOA)
The Department did not appear before SCOA.
8.1 Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA)
The Department did not appear before SCOPA.
9. Committee observations and recommendations
9.1 Observations on the FPB
The Committee commended the FPB for achieving 98.5 per cent of its targets.
The Committee noted that the FPB attained its first clean audit in 20 years and that all AGSA audit queries for the previous years had been resolved.
The Committee noted with concern that: (i) although the FPB had achieved a clean audit, it had not met its service delivery targets; (ii) there was still irregular and fruitless expenditure; and (iii) the Board had an excessive salary increase.
9.2 Observations on ICASA
The Committee noted that ICASA had achieved 91.4 per cent of its targets.
The Committee further noted the following achievements: (i) Development of findings document on Subscription Broadcasting Services; (ii) Market review in terms of section 67(4) of the Electronic Communications Act (ECA); (iii) Review of regulations on broadcasting of National Sporting Events; (iv) Processing of applications for renewal, amendment and change of control of individual licenses; (v) Implementation of training and development strategy; and (vi) Payment of suppliers within 30 days.
9.3 Observations on the SABC
The Committee commended the Board for an honest, reliable and informative presentation as well as the reduction in the irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
The Committee encouraged the SABC and Ministry of Communications to move with speed in the implementation of DTT, particularly with the Parliamentary Channel broadcasting on DSTV which was not accessible to the general public.
The Committee noted that: (i) the SABC ended the year with a R482 million loss; (ii) the irregular expenditure had declined by 41 per cent to R336 million; (iii) the SABC obtained a qualified opinion; (iv) all SABC channels and radio stations exceeded their targets in terms of viewership and listenership; (v) the SABC had reduced audit findings by 40 per cent; and (vi) the SABC had invested in digital platforms.
The Committee recommends that the Minister should:
- ensure that the Department and entities had action plans to mitigate AGSA findings;
- table an implementation plan for rollout of set-top boxes;
- provide regular updates regarding the revised Broadcasting Digital Migration policy;
- ensure that there was consequence management for irregular expenditure in the Department and entities;
- ensure that there was a merger of entities in order to achieve efficiency;
- table proposals and motivations as to what the Department seeks to achieve through the proposed mergers; and
- table the Department’s legislative programme and timelines incidental thereto.
On ICASA, the Committee recommends that the Minister:
- should ensure that she tables a report to the Appropriations Committee on the transfer of funds from the DTPS to DoC for high demand spectrum;
- must ensure that there was a performance management framework, approved by the Committee and signed by all ICASA Councillors by 1 April 2019;
- should ensure that ICASA provides a quarterly update to the Committee on how far the implementation of the licensing of high demand spectrum is;
- should ensure that ICASA review its turnaround times on delivery of all of its programmes and table the same to the Committee;
- should ensure that ICASA provides quarterly updates on its compliance activities in all licence categories;
- should ensure that all matters raised in the AGSA audit report, including fruitless and irregular expenditure which are mainly due to non-compliance with SCM policies, were resolved;
- should ensure that there was sufficient funding for ICASA and a process to license high demand spectrum;
- should ensure that ICASA monitors and enforces the implementation of postal regulations;
- should ensure that ICASA releases the licencing spectrum by the end of November 2019;
- should ensure that ICASA retrieves monies from irregular expenditure, in particular from the people who were found to have done irregular things, whether they were still in the employ of ICASA or not; and
- should ensure that ICASA had relevant skills internally and that the critical vacancies of General Manager: Engineering and Chief Operations Officer and General Manager: Supply Chain Management are filled urgently.
On the SABC, the Committee recommends that the Minister should:
- ensure that there was proper oversight of the expenditure of the special appropriated funds and that monthly reports were provided to the Committee;
- ensure that the SABC adheres to the preconditions set by National Treasury and the DoC for the government guarantee;
- ensure that the SABC provides monthly reports on how it is managing its irregular expenditure;
- ensure that the SABC provides quarterly reports on the implementation of its turnaround strategy;
- ensure that the recommendations of Special Investigating Unit, Public Protector Report, AGSA findings and the Adhoc Committee on SABC Inquiry were implemented by the SABC; and
- ensure that there was monitoring of progress on the criminal cases referred to the National Prosecuting Authority by the SIU.
On the FPB, the Committee recommends that the Minister should:
- ensure that the FPB presents its proposed implementation plan of the Film and Publications Amendment Act 2019;
- ensure that the FPB presents a plan on how it will ensure that it maintains its clean audit;
- ensure that the FPB presents its outreach and education programmes which should be conducted in partnership with all the entities within in the Department; and
- ensure that the FPB provides an action plan on how it will mitigate the new irregular expenditure.
On the MDDA, the Committee recommends that the Minister in the Presidency should:
- provide a detailed report on the matter of bodyguards for the MDDA Acting Chief Executive Officer, as reported in the previous year’s BRRR;
- ensure that the filling of four vacancies in the Board was referred to the National Assembly for processing;
- ensure that there was proper oversight and monitoring of community media projects by the MDDA; and
- ensure that there was a proper database of community media projects funded by the MDDA and that this database was made available to the Committee.
11. Recommendations emanating from the Budget Vote report 2019/20
The Committee recommended to the Minister and entities reporting to her on the following:
11.1 The Department
The Committee resolved that:
- the Minister should report to the Committee once the Department have completed their engagements with National Treasury on the SABC financial challenges; and
- the Minister should make the skills audit report available to the Committee as soon the process is finalized.
The Committee resolved that the Minister should:
- make available a comprehensive operations report, containing programmes relating to the rehabilitation process of the SABC;
- prioritize the normalizing of governance and financial mismanagement at the SABC;
- collaborate with the SIU and the SAPS to try to recover monies of the SABC;
- ensure that the SABC reviews policies in order to ensure continued compliance with sound financial practices as prescribed by the PFMA and other relevant legislation governing State-Owned Entities (SOEs);
- ensure that the SABC fast-tracks the maintenance of buildings and prioritizes the safety and health of its employees;
- continue to implement the Reports of the Public Protector, AGSA; Internal Forensic; and Parliament’s Ad hoc Committee, and provide updates to the Committee when requested to;
- ensure that the SABC pays off its debtors as soon as the loan is secured and report back to the Committee; and
- ensure that the SABC, when ready, presents to the Committee its content development strategies to gain FTA audience market share.
Lastly, the Committee wished to acknowledge and thank the employees of SABC for continuing to serve the public broadcaster and the country with dedication irrespective of the financial challenges at the corporation. The Committee will continue to monitor how the SABC spends the savings.
The Committee resolved that the Minister should make available ICASA’s 2019 national and provincial elections report as soon as it was finalized.
The Minister should provide a detailed report on all Committee recommendations 30 days after the adoption of the report by the National Assembly.
The Democratic Alliance reserved its support for the report.
Report to be considered.