South Africa’s Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Dr Siyabonga Cwele has stressed that South Africa’s ICT industry is not in crisis.
“We are making a lot of progress in the development of ICT in South Africa,” Cwele told John Robbie on Radio 702. “Both government and the private sector have been investing quite a lot in the infrastructure for ICT so that ordinary people everywhere in South Africa should eventually have access to fast, reliable and affordable internet.”
The government has set aside millions of rands to provide broadband to as many people as possible, but it has been accused of dragging its feet when it’s come to implementing it.
Minister Cwele explained that the ICT Policy still has to go through a number of processes, which should conclude in the next two months.
“As we said, the first key thing is to finalise the policy which we hope in the next two months will go through all the cabinet processes and approval. Then the implementation should really start on some of the key measures quite soon,” he said.
Cwele was quick to add that it isn’t something that can be rushed, as there are a lot of factors involved.
“The real challenge is that when making a policy, you must consult the people, you must consult the industry and take all their concerns. And as government, ultimately you have to make policy choices. That is the stage at which we are now in final approval of this policy,” he said.
As a side note, Robbie asked Cwele if he was at loggerheads with Faith Muthambi, Minister of Communications, over some of the policy issues.
“No, we are not at odds at all. We are working under the same government and we continue to complement each other. The Broadcasting Policy will eventually be part of the Integrated ICT Policy, and the broadcasting matter will also be part of the policy because of convergence matters,” he said.