Communications minister Yunus Carrim was playing it coy this week when asked whether he’d like to return to the portfolio after the 7 May general election, which the ANC is once again expected to win.
Responding to a question from TechCentral at a press conference in Johannesburg on Monday, Carrim said that when president Jacob Zuma appointed him to the job last year — he replaced the disgraced Dina Pule — he did not think the communications technology space would be one that interested him.
Carrim, who has been an ANC MP for the past 20 years, described himself as a local government activist. “I really didn’t think this area [technology] would interest me in the way that it has come to. I thought ICT was more about the economy in general, business itself. I never realised how utterly relevant it is to the poor and marginalised … and to the socialist struggle to which I subscribe.”
However, he declined to say directly whether he’d like to stay on in the job. “It’s not for me to say. The president himself, his term is coming to an end,” he said. “The president can decide.”
But, the hard-working Carrim, who has been praised by opposition political parties for his work ethic, added that it didn’t matter who took over the portfolio after the election. “If the deputy minister [Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams], the director-general [Rosey Sekese] and I get our act together before 7 May, it doesn’t matter who comes in here. Isn’t it more important that we have the right policy, the right trajectory? Our main task is to create a firmer foundation … for impetus for faster deliver in this sector.”
He joked that it didn’t help that the opposition Democratic Alliance and others had said “this guy must come back” after the election.
“It’s the president’s decision. I have no doubt he will make the right decision. It doesn’t matter who is here. But imagine the burden to a new minister who starts again. That’s why I think we must settle [the main issues] sometime soon.” — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media