Yunus Carrim promises swift action - TechCentral

Yunus Carrim promises swift action

Yunus Carrim

Yunus Carrim

Urgent measures will be introduced to turn around South Africa’s information and communication sector, newly appointed communications minister Yunus Carrim said on Wednesday.

Speaking after being sworn in in Pretoria, he said the performance and management of state entities, particularly the SABC, would improve.

“There is no reason why we cannot move with due expedition. We have these huge challenges and limited time so we cannot afford not to move fast,” he said.

“The plans [for the SABC]are not plans which I make alone. We are all excruciatingly aware of the need to stabilise the SABC board and its management. We need to improve its performance.”

He said different roleplayers in the communication sector would be consulted.

“I have been the minister now for not more than 45 minutes. I will be spending a good deal over the next two weeks listening to people, largely learning.”

He said compared to other countries with developing economies, South Africa lagged behind in IT development.

“Clearly, we are lagging behind. We made significant progress in the early years of our democratic transformation. I will be very keen to work with [the]deputy minister, the department, the public sector and [the]broader society.”

Carrim said a revival of the problem-riddled communications department and its entities was on the horizon.

“We simply have no choice. The public out there, the business community, trade union movements and society have reached a limit of tolerance about the difficulties we have been having in the SABC,” he said.

“We are all committed to work with the public out there in turning around the SABC and the ICT sector. It will happen, but it won’t happen simply through the role of the politicians. We all have a stake in this.”

Carrim said the state should not negate its role in the improvement. “We will seek to secure a more co-operative, consensual environment while recognising ultimately that as government we must not shrug away from our responsibility to lead.”

New ministers and deputy ministers were sworn in on Wednesday. Constitutional court judge Johan Froneman presided over the ceremony.

Carrim, together with incoming co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Lechesa Tsenoli and human settlements minister Connie September were first to take the oath of office.

They were followed by deputy justice & constitutional development minister John Jeffery, deputy science & technology minister Michael Masutha and deputy rural development & land reform minister Pam Tshwete.

Earlier on Wednesday, the presidency said president Jacob Zuma did not have to give reasons for the changes to his cabinet. “The presidency wishes to remind the opinion makers that the president of the republic uses his prerogative when appointing members to the national executive,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

Zuma axed three ministers: communications minister Dina Pule, human settlements minister Tokyo Sexwale, and co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Richard Baloyi.

Transport minister Ben Martins became the new energy minister, swapping portfolios with Dipuo Peters.  — Sapa

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