DA Shadow Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Marian Shinn says that the ANC government cannot deliver the opportunities and freedoms of a digital future.
This is in response to Minister Siyabonga Cwele’s 2016/17 Budget Vote speech, where he said progress was made in the roll-out of broadband – a result of government and private sector investments.
He said the government is doing a good job at developing a framework for spectrum in the country, and that its policies are good for telecommunications in South Africa.
Shinn disagreed, saying the ANC’s desire to extend their capabilities and offerings to all South Africans has, for years, been undermined by regulatory uncertainty, and political ignorance and interference.
“If the private sector’s role in delivering connectivity to the entire country is not properly recognised and incentivized, SA Connect will continue to fail,” said Shinn.
She said there is also no money for dual illumination, and no money to “educate the public about why they need to move from analogue TV”.
“There is no money for the call centre for viewer support. And there’s no money to buy the 5 million decoders government is giving to poor households.”
The ANC government’s policy obsession with control, rather than facilitation, of the ICT sector continues to marginalise under-serviced and poor communities, said Shinn.