South Africa’s telecommunications and ICT market is suffering because of poor governance by the Department of Communications.
The department has been underperforming for years, which in turn has stifled progress in the local telecoms market.
A good example is the ongoing struggle to complete the digital migration process and hand much-needed broadband spectrum to operators.
The Department of Communications missed its deadline of November 2011 to complete the digital migration, and also missed the international deadline of June 2015.
In May, the Department of Communications told Parliament it may miss its new deadline for digital migration.
This was due to “supply chain management irregularities” and “collusion issues”.
One of the biggest problems at the department is the regular changing of ministers and the associated lack of continuity.
New ministers with very little knowledge of the ICT space are employed by the department, which stalls important processes.
With eight ministers in as many years, it is easy to see why the Department of Communications is such a mess.
An overview of the communications ministers of the past decade is shown below.