Chair, a legal nightmare for the information and communications technology sector was created eight months ago when President Zuma split asunder the Department of Communications to create a broadcasting empire for a loyal cadre. This led to a turf war over which department is responsible for the much delayed transition to terrestrial digital broadcasting. The Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, has vociferously fought to control this transition, although the outcome of this has more to do with delivering the digital dividend than TV. To let this Minister have her way, an unworkable mishmash of unworkable laws was created.
While the President may not be able to discern where the responsibility for this transition should lie, National Treasury has no doubts. Yesterday's budget makes it quite clear that its money is on the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services. Treasury has allocated R3,8 million to Minister Muthambi's Ministry, to, among other things, play an important role in creating and supporting SMMEs in the digital domain. Telecoms, on the other hand, has R371 million to spend on the entities that are actually responsible for making DTT happen. That is a magnitude of difference in power and responsibility. The SABC gets a billion to spend on digitalising its platforms but that does not address bridging the digital divide.
Thanks are due to the Treasury for making it crystal clear which department has the right to manage the project. Minister Muthambi must step aside and let the department with the requisite skills get on with the job ... [Time expired.]