Analysts applaud Padayachie's appointment - TechCentral

Analysts applaud Padayachie’s appointment

New communications minister Roy Padayachie

Analysts across the board have welcomed the appointment of Roy Padayachie as communications minister, saying his experience in government and in telecommunications should prove invaluable to the sector.

President Jacob Zuma surprised almost everyone with his announcement on Sunday that Siphiwe Nyanda was out and that Padayachie would replace him.

In the past six months, the department has faced one crisis after another — from failing state-owned enterprises to growing internal troubles.

However, analysts say Padayachie is well positioned to repair the “shattered” department.

Richard Hurst, senior analyst covering emerging markets at Ovum, says Padayachie is a “brilliant” choice. “He has been involved in the telecoms space for a long time and understands the ins and outs of the business.”

However, he says Padayachie’s most important asset is his ability to balance the needs of industry and government. “His experience in government will allow him to bridge the political gap between government and industry,” Hurst says.

Avior Research telecoms equity analyst David Lerche says Padayachie’s appointment is heartening for industry. However, Lerche says the new minister will have to prove himself over the next few months.

“It shouldn’t be too hard because the communications ministry has never really had a good track record. All he needs to do is bring common sense and motivation to the department to do well,” Lerche says.

Though he agrees the communications department is in “chaos”, Lerche says Nyanda’s term in office was “not a complete disaster”.

“He played a large role in the interconnection regulations, which will bring lower retail prices, with any luck,” he says. “There was also the launch of a new mobile entrant [Telkom’s 8ta] on his watch,” he adds.

Dobek Pater, partner at Africa Analysis, says Padayachie’s work as deputy minister in the communications department under the late Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri had earned him “brownie points” among industry players.

However, Pater warns that Padayachie will face significant political challenges, especially considering the timing of his appointment.

“Local elections are around the corner, and government has to show it is serious about service delivery,” he says.

BMI-TechKnowledge MD Denis Smit says Padayachie is up to the task both politically and for the industry. “He listens and he applies his mind,” he says.

However, Smit says the litmus test for Padayachie’s term will be who he decides to appoint as his director-general.

“The person he chooses will have to be a technocrat. They will need to understand the industry, especially with convergence and fast changing technologies,” he says.  — Candice Jones, TechCentral


  1. Interesting that nobody thinks its problematic that he was part of Poison Ivy’s reign, one of the worst ministers in SA history. This is exactly like SA’s Aids policy, Mbeki is removed problem solved! Crap, where was Roy Padayachie when the minister was running the sector into the ground. I didn’t hear his dissenting voice, did you?

  2. Yes, I did. He did a number of good things, before his boss slapped him down and told him to stop talking to industry – and especially to stop being reasonable.

  3. For the him to succeed, he needs to change the department from within, re-open invesigations into the alleged tender and procument fraud and other evils within the department. He needs to follow up on Ms Mohlala investigations regarding the HR Chief Director and other corrupt officials who benefited from irregular tenders.

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