The establishment of the Department of Communications is on track. This is according to Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, who briefed Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communication yesterday on the progress of establishing the new department.
The former department of Government Communication and Information (The GCIS) was disestablished at the end of September this year, and its infrastructure and resources are now part of a start-up organisational structure of the new Department. Currently the department is in the process of accepting and orienting transferred entities including Brand SA, the Films and Publications Board (FPB), the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), and the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA).
The Minister has appointed Donald Liphoko as Acting Director-General for the Department. In his presentation to Parliament, Liphoko outlined the MPSA approval of the organisational structure, the Ministry MTEF Budget outlook, and transfer of functions between DoC and the Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services.
Minister Muthambi also updated Parliament on the establishment of the South African Broadcast Production Advisory Body (SABPAB) a key feature of the Broadcasting Act, no. 4 of 1999. The immediate task of the Advisory Body will be to review the draft Local and Digital Content Strategy. The objectives of the strategy are to grow the local content industry in SA; allow the entry by emerging content creators, particularly from historically disadvantaged background and to unlock the multi-billion Rand potential of the content industry in SA to create jobs.
The members of the Portfolio Committee welcomed the presentation and made inputs on the need to improve the pace of transformation in skills development and priorities the inclusion of content from SADC and other African countries. The members urged the minister to work closely with state entities and other government departments in order to realize the objectives of the Advisory Body.
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Issued by: Department of Communications