ATC130507: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on its deliberations on the Budget Vote 9: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), and Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), dated 7 May 2013.
of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on its deliberations on the Budget
Vote 9: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), and Media
Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), dated 7 May 2013.
The Portfolio Committee on Communications,
having considered the Strategic Plans and Budges of GCIS and the MDDA, reports
Section 55 (2) of The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act
108 of 1996, states that the National Assembly must provide for mechanisms (a)
to ensure that all executive organs of state in the national sphere of
government are accountable to it; and (b) to maintain oversight of (i) the
exercise of national executive authority including the implementation of
legislation; and (ii) any organ of state. In terms of the Public Finance
Management Act, 1999, the Accounting Officers must provide Parliament or the
relevant legislature with their respective institutions medium-term strategic
plan and where applicable with its annual performance.
The Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act was
promulgated in 2009, by which it vests powers to Parliament to reject or
recommend budgets of departments, it also makes provision for the
implementation of recommendations emanating from the committees oversight.
The capacity to communicate effectively with
constituents is a fundamental function of modern governance. A key aspect of
governance is how citizens, leaders and public institutions relate to each
other in order to make change happen. Without communication structures and
processes which enable the two-way exchange of information between state and
citizens, it is difficult to imagine how states can be responsive to public
needs and expectations. Crucially, two-way communication allows citizens to
monitor the states activities, to enter into dialogue with the state on issues
that matter to them, and to influence political outcomes.
The Minister in The Presidency: Performance Monitoring, Evaluation and
Administration, Mr Collins Chabane, who is also the Executive Authority noted
in the departments 2010/11 Annual Report said:
become service delivery itself; providing for information for action, that
people can use to access services that will improve their lives. Communication
now stands as a central support to the visible implementation of our Programme
The aim of the report is to provide
an overview of the 2013/14 Strategic Plan of
the Department. This done, notwithstanding the fact that the Department has not
tabled an updated Strategic Plan, the Department has however tabled an updated
Annual Performance Plan for 2013/14 financial year on 13 March 2013. The
Committee held briefings with GCIS and MDDA on 15 March 2013.
Analysis of the 2013/14 Strategic Plan:
Programme Structure Trends
During the past three financial years up to
2009/10, the department was organised into eight programmes: (i) Programme 1:
Administration; (ii) Programme 2: Policy and Research; (iii) Programme 3:
Government and Media Liaison; (iv) Programme 4: Provincial Coordination and
Programme Support; (v) Programme 5: Communication Service Agency: (vi)
Programme 6: International Marketing and Media Development; (vii) Programme 7:
Government Publication; and (viii) Programme 8: Communication Resource Centre.
During the 2011/12 Strategic Plan, following an
internal organisational review, the Department reviewed its structure into
three key core programmes namely; (i) Programme 1: Administration; (ii)
Programme 2: Communication and Content Management; and (iii) Programme 3: Government
and Stakeholder Engagement.
Towards the fourth quarter of the 2012/13 financial year, the Department
reviewed its programmes from three programmes to four programmes and this necessitated
alterations to the names of two
of the programmes
as follows: (i) Programme 1: Administration remains unchanged; (ii) Programme
2: Communication and Content Management; is now Content Processing and
Dissemination; (iii) Programme 3: Government and Stakeholder Engagement; is now
Intergovernmental Coordination and Stakeholder Management; and (iv) Programme
4: Communication Service Agency remains unchanged.
Oversight visits conducted by the Committee in 2012/13 to the North
West, Gauteng and a follow-up visit to the Eastern Cape remained an important
tool to measure service delivery in practice toward requisite budget
The transformation of print
media Indaba held in
Government Communications and Information
GCIS) R396 700 000
The GCIS Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Phumla Williams presented an
overview of the Strategic Plan of the Government Communication Information System.
She explained that GCIS engages in communication as service delivery, as
communication is critical pivot in mobilising all sectors of society in the
realisation of the National Development Plan. The part of this mobilisation
effort is a focus on the achievements of government and the society as a whole
during the first two decades of freedom and democracy.
The fight against poverty and unemployment demands intensive
communication of socio-economic opportunities created by government for
vulnerable citizens and communities, in terms of the key priorities of
government. Governments focused infrastructure development programme presents
a powerful opportunity to showcase the changing face of the South African
economic landscape and the opportunities arising from this for individuals and
The growth in digital and mobile communications presents government with
the opportunity and challenge to engage interactively with citizens and
stakeholders, and to join in social conversations rather than produce one-way
The primary role of GCIS is to provide strategic leadership in
government communication. Furthermore it aims to coordinate a government
communication system that ensures that the public is informed about
governments policies, plans and programmes.
The Departments strategic goals over the medium term are:
ensure coherent, responsive and cost effective
communications services for all government programmes;
provide a comprehensive communication service on
behalf of government to facilitate the
involvement of the majority of South Africans in governance, reconstruction and
development, nation building and reconciliation;
ensure strength, success and security of
ensure strategic alignment of the government communication
system with the national government agenda so that government wide
communication reports on the five priority areas of government: education, fighting
crime; health; job creation and rural development.
2.1 Programme 1.
Administration R132 600 000
The purpose of the programme is to provide
overall management and support for the Department, through its sub-programmes,
which include: (i) human resources management; (ii) strategic planning and
programme management; (iii) training and development; (iv) information
management and technology; (v) internal audit; and (vi) finance and supply
2.2 Programme 2.
Content Processing and Dissemination R97 000 000
The purpose of the programme is to provide strategic leadership in
government communication for the purposes of ensuring coherence, coordination,
consistency, quality, impact and responsiveness of government communication.
The programme has the following programmes: (i) policy and research; (ii)
products and platforms; and (iii) marketing and distribution.
2.3 Programme 3.
Intergovernmental Coordination and Stakeholder Management R120 000 000
The purpose of the programme is the implementation
of development communication through mediated and unmediated communication, and
sound stakeholder relations and partnerships. The programme has the following
sub-programmes: (i) provincial and local liaison; (ii) media engagement; and
(iii) cluster communication.
2.4 Programme 4.
Communication Service Agency R47 200 000
The purpose of the programme is to provide
media bulk-buying services and media production for the entire national
government. It is tasked with communicating the work of government through
implementing cost-effective media bulk buying in newspapers, radio, television,
outdoor and digital media, through relevant advertising messaging. As
importantly, the programme works to capture dynamic archives of
The Department raised the following as
their key challenges: (i) limited fiscal resources; (ii) institutionalisation
of government communications; (iii) office space constraints this was raised
as a challenge during the 2012/13 financial year however, it is worth noting
that GCIS will be moving to its new premises in May 2013; and (iv) insufficient
media bulk buying support from government departments.
The spending focus over the medium term
will be on implementing the national communication strategy approved by Cabinet
in June 2011 and providing for the operating lease, IT, security and office
furniture related to the new head office building, of which the Department is
to take occupation of in 2013/14. These activities will be carried out in the
Intergovernmental Coordination and Stakeholder Management and Administration
programmes. In implementing the national communication strategy, the Department
will focus on ensuring that the strategys framework is adopted at the
provincial and local government levels and that their development communication
campaigns and programmes are aligned with the government communication programme.
The significant increase in spending in the
Administration programme and on operation leases between 2009/10 and 2012/13
was mainly due to the R70 million once-off allocation for the new head office
Spending in the Content
Processing and Dissemination programme decreased significantly between 2009/10
and 2012/13 due to the Communication Service Agency sub-programme being moved
out of this programme to be established as a stand-alone programme.
This was done to fulfill the Departments objective
of providing media bulk buying and media production services to national
government departments. Spending on compensation of employees increased
significantly in 2012/13 as the Department increased the number of personnel by
five people, mainly at salary levels 3 to 13, in order to implement the
national communication strategy, establish the strategic planning and
performance management unit, and allow the Department to assist other
department with media bulk buying.
The Department receives additional
allocation over the medium term of R3,4 million, R4,3 million and R7,4 million
for improved conditions of service. Cabinet approved budget reductions of R3,9
million, R8,3 million and R13,1 million have been effected in spending over the
medium term. These reductions, along with the accumulated effects of the
reductions to the budget allocations in recent years, have delayed some of the
planned expansions of communications services, as detailed in the national
communication strategy. The Department has implemented measures, detailed
within each programme, to mitigate any potential adverse effect on the
achievement of outputs.
As at 30 September 2012, the Department had
23 vacant posts due to retirements, resignations and transfers to other
government departments. The posts are to be filled within two months as per
departmental policy. The Department had 505 funded posts in 2012/13, of which
24 contract workers are employed additional to the establishment. The ratio of
support staff to line function staff is 1:3.
Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) R56 301 000
Transfers from GCIS
R20 800 000, Media Stakeholders R28 046 000 and Other Income R7 465 000
The MDDA was set up in terms of the MDDA Act, 2002 (Act 14 of 2002) to
enable historically disadvantaged communities and individuals to gain access to
The mandate of MDDA is to:
(i) create an enabling environment for media development and diversity which
reflects the needs and aspirations of all South Africans; (ii) redress the exclusion
and marginalisation of disadvantaged communities and people from access to the
media and the media industry; and (iii) promote media development and diversity
by providing support primarily to community and small commercial media
projects. The overall objective of MDDA 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
The MDDAs strategic focus over the medium term will be on: (i) advocating
for media development and diversity; (ii) developing partnerships in
advertising with the government departments, public entities and the private
sector with a view to enhance the sustainability of small commercial media
projects; (iii) providing grant and seed funding for community and small
commercial media; (iv) providing capacity building interventions for
beneficiary organisations and communities, including mentorship and monitoring
and evaluation; (v) strengthening and consolidating beneficiary projects to
levels of sustainability; (vi) conducting research and knowledge management;
(vii) promoting media literacy and a culture of reading; (viii) communicating
and encouraging public awareness about the media sector to a level where all
South Africans have access to diverse forms of media; (ix) promoting quality
programming and production in community broadcasting; and (x) raising funds and
mobilising resources to strengthen the community and small commercial media
projects for sustainability.
The MDDA has the following programmes:
5.1 Programme A:
Community Media R27 091 000
The purpose of this programme is to provide technical, non-financial and
financial support to diverse media platforms owned and controlled by
communities. Its strategic objective is the ownership, control and access to
information and content production by communities.
5.2 Programme B:
Small Commercial Media R7 180 000
The purpose of this programme is to provide technical, non-financial and
financial support to diverse media platforms owned and controlled by
independent publishers. Its strategic objective is the enhancement of ownership
and control by independent media entrepreneurs.
5.3 Programme C:
Research, Training and Development R3 949 000
The purpose of this programme is to create and enhance a body knowledge
regarding the media landscape and capacity for a diverse media industry. Its
strategic objective is a vibrant, innovative and people-centred media.
5.4 Programme D:
Monitoring and Evaluation R1 491 000
The purpose of this programme is to assess grant agreement compliance
and impact of MDDA funded projects. Its strategic objective is to strengthen
and promote a vibrant, innovative and people-centred and diversified media.
5.5 Programme E:
Human Resources R2 518 000
The purpose of this programme is to develop MDDA human capital so as to
deliver products and services that delight stakeholders. Its strategic
objective will be creation of an environment and capabilities that deliver MDDA
value products and services.
5.6 Programme F:
Communications, Branding and Stakeholder Management R5 061 000
The purpose of this programme is to enhance the MDDA brand as a leader
in media development and diversity
strategic objective is to make MDDA a well known, valued and reputable brand.
5.7 Programme G:
Risk Management and Internal Audit R1 659 000
The purpose of the programme is to limit the negative impact of
organizational and environmental risks by enhancing governance and
accountability standards of the MDDA.
5.8 Programme H:
Financial Management R6 904 000
The purpose of this programme is to provide MDDA with overall financial
and supply chain management, and guide management in complying with legislative
requirements, budget planning, financial management and administration. The
strategic objective is to strengthen, grow and protect the MDDA funding base.
The MDDA is funded by transfers from the GCIS and grants from broadcast
and print media. It also earns non-tax revenue from interest generated on short
term investments. Transfers received increased from R39,3 million in 2009/10 to
R44,8 million in 2012/13 due to the signing and enforcement of a service level
agreement with both print media funders and the broadcast media.
MDDAs spending focus over the medium term will shift from taking on new
projects to concentrating on existing ones by maintaining their current level
of funding in order to ensure their viability.
Spending increased significantly between 2009/10 and 2012/13 in order to
meet the agencies grant making objective of promoting and strengthening the
small commercial print and community media sectors. In 2012/13, 74,6 per cent
of the agencys R52,2 million budget was spent on these approved grant
applications. The number of projects supported in any given year depends on the
quality and quantity of the applications received.
MDDA expects to realise savings in excess of R2 million over the medium
term from within the objectives for fundraising and resource mobilisation and
advocacy for media development and diversity as a result of implementing cost
saving measures. The measures included cutting down on traveling and
accommodation costs, taking on fewer new projects and conducting fewer
seminars. This, together with reductions in grant funding, accounts for the
slower increase in spending projected over the medium term.
MDDA had 14 vacant posts as at 30 September 2012. The posts were vacant
as a result of the new structure approved in June 2012 and are scheduled to be
filled in 2013/14. Personnel numbers over the medium term are expected to
increase to 29. Consultants used by the agency provide IT, internal audit and
risk management services, which are outsourced as the agency does not have the
personnel to perform these tasks.
The MDDA request an
additional funding of R16, 839 million for the financial year 2013/14 broken
down as follows:
Monitoring and Evaluation
: These funds are needed to strengthen the M &
E unit and increase the number of projects monitored yearly to more than 50.
: Since the funds from Print funders are decreasing
on yearly basis additional funds are need to add to funds allocated to small
commercial media sector which is funded mainly from Government and Print
Implementations of Communications Strategy
: To increase public
awareness with regards to media development and diversity issues and also
encourage an increase in number of projects applications in rural areas.
Human resources vacancies R1.339 million
Senior Manager Communications R540 000
Project Officer (M & E) - R179 000
Company Secretary R620 000
Total funding requirements R16,839m
As identified in 2012-13, the sustainability of funded projects remains
an ongoing challenge mainly due to insufficient financial support by mainstream
print media to the community print, as well as insufficient financial support
from all spheres of government to sustain the community media through placing
of advertisements that advocates government programmes and activities.
This was also identified during the Committees oversight visits in 2012
- 13 to the
8. Observations and
The Committee noted the following: (i) that MDDA had requested the
National Treasury to facilitate the transfer of the budget allocation for the
purpose of capacity building of community radio programme production from
Budget Vote 27 to Budget Vote 9 (ii) that MDDA Board does not have a Company
Secretary as required in terms of sound corporate governance principles; (iii)
that not all national departments comply with the Committees 2012/13
recommendations to use community media when advertising; and (iv) the slow pace
towards legislative and policy review which needed to be conducted in order to
address sectoral challenges which relate to sustainability and tariffs.
Furthermore, the Committee expressed its concern over: (i) the state of
existing Thusong Centres; (ii) the empty GCIS stands at Post Offices; and (iii)
the reduction in the print order of the Vukuzenzele publication.
The Committee recommends that the Minister:
must expedite legislation and policy review given the
challenges facing community media particularly in terms of transformation;
should conduct an audit of compliance of national
departments about the Committee recommendations that national government
departments and state owned entities
should include advertising through community media; and
MDDA provide a breakdown of funding for existing and new
community media projects.
The Committee is satisfied with the GCIS Strategic Plan 2013 2017; its
Annual Performance Plan for 2013 2014; and MDDA Medium Term Expenditure
Framework and Annual Performance Plan for the period 2013 2017 and accordingly
supports its implementation.
Report to be considered.
No related documents