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Members of the Portfolio Committee on Communications expressed their concern about the absence of Minister Faith Muthambi from today’s meeting and undertook to arrange another meeting with her soon.

At the beginning of today’s meeting, the Committee Secretary announced an apology from the Minister, saying that the Minister was accompanying President Jacob Zuma on an official visit to KwaZulu-Natal.

Member of the Committee Ms Phumzile van Damme said it was concerning that the Minister provided the same reason for not attending last week’s meeting held on Tuesday, 7 March 2017, in which she accompanied the President to Soshanguve in Pretoria.

Mr Lerumo Kalako, Committee Member and Whip, said: “It is important that the Minister prioritises meetings with the Portfolio Committee so that we can understand her wisdom on the work of the department. We need to arrange another urgent meeting with her to discuss issues pertinent to the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the SABC [South African Broadcasting Corporation] Board Inquiry, as well as the turnaround plan of the Interim Board of SABC.”

The Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Humphrey Maxegwana, emphasised that the issue of filling vacancies at senior level in the department, including the position of Director-General and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), should be discussed with the Minister as a matter of urgency.

The Committee was meeting to be briefed on the 3rd quarter expenditure and performance reports of the Department of Communications and the Government Communications and Information Systems (GCIS). The GCIS reported that it achieved 39 out of 41 targets in the quarter under review for the 2016/17 financial year.

Justice Molafo
14 March 2017