Communications minister Yunus Carrim has been given a mixed report card by the Democratic Alliance in its analysis of the performance of cabinet ministers over the past year.
Carrim has been given a “C” by the opposition political party for “attempting, with some vigour, to clean up the mess” left by the former minister, Dina Pule, who would have received an “F” if she had not dismissed by president Jacob Zuma.
The DA explains that “B” and “C” ratings have been awarded if a minister’s vision is “clear, coherent, well implemented, fairly accountable, shows respect for parliamentary oversight with an expertly managed department”. An “A” score means a minister’s vision is “clear, coherent, excellently implemented, accountable, has a positive attitude to parliamentary oversight and their department is expertly managed”.
The annual report card says Carrim has made progress in responding to parliamentary questions asked by opposition parties, posed both to his predecessor and to him.
“Some of the responses have been thin or requested detail to the point of irrelevance or verbose in commentary as the officials charged with replying to events in his predecessor’s time tried to inflate their achievements.”
The party says, as a whole, there was a faster turnaround time in replying to questions; Pule did not answer a single question from parliament in the first quarter of 2013.
Since taking office, Carrim has made it his top priority to address the skills gaps in the department of communications, the DA says. “Much progress has been made here, with performance contracts for top management finally in place.”
The report card says the minister invested time dealing with turning around the department and driving priority issues such as finalising the digital migration policy (gazetted in late November for public comment), radio spectrum and broadband policies, and the cost of communication.
Science & technology minister Derek Hanekom, meanwhile, received an “A” grade for being “dedicated, well informed and appropriately addressing the challenges his department faced”.
Home affairs minister Naledi Pandor scored a “C” for “spearheading some of her predecessor’s improvements”, even though at times there was a “lag in momentum”. The report says that she has therefore slipped down to a “C”, from an “A” in her previous position as science & technology minister.
“Since minister Pandor’s appointment, there unfortunately have been substantial delays in flagship products, policies and crucial services pioneered and improved by her predecessor.” The report mentions that the smart ID card project missed deadlines and still does not have a finalised roll-out schedule.
President Jacob Zuma was given an “F”. — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media