The Minister of Communications Nomvula Mokonyane is pleased to note that two departments (DoC and GCIS) under the Communications Ministry have once again received clean audit reports from the office of the Auditor General.
Minister Mokonyane welcomes these audit results as a sign of good governance and adhering to strict financial policies and practices.
“The DoC has a critical role to play in creating an enabling environment for the provision of inclusive communication services to all South Africans in a manner that promotes socio-economic development and investment.
“It is therefore very critical that the ministry leads by example in ensuring that its operations are underpinned by good governance. These clean audits reports are a proof that we are doing something right in the Ministry,” Minister Mokonyane said.
The DOC has since its inception made notable developments regarding its performance and human capital. However, the 2017/18 financial year has been a challenging period exacerbated by the high turnover of executive authorities and accounting officers in the department. Despite this challenge, the department continued to function optimally and deliver on a strong performance as underlined by its results in the last three years.
For the 2017/18 financial year, 25 of the 30 targets planned for the year were achieved, translating in a performance figure of 83%.
The five unachieved targets (17%) were largely experienced in core functions of the department’s work, namely finalisation of a new broadcasting policy (Audio Visual-Content and the related Bill), the rollout and successful completion of BDM and stringent oversight of entities owing to the limited human capacity.
An improvement plan has been developed for continuous implementation and monitoring progress of the targets. It includes a renewed focus to finalise a new vision for broadcasting through an audio-visual content policy and rapid roll-out of the BDM Programme.
“Importantly, we will also work towards a portfolio of entities that successfully deliver on their mandate on behalf of government, and engender public trust and confidence.
The DoC spent 99.3% of its allocated budget for the 2017/18 financial year.” The GCIS spent 98.1% of its allocated budget.
The GCIS has made significant strides in implementing development communication in the past year, with firm plans to achieve even more in the next year. A total of 1 727 communication activations were implemented through malls and taxi ranks, blitzes in trains and Thusong Service Centres. The department distributed over 23 million copies of Vukuzenzele, a publication that is crucial in areas where there is less access to mainstream media. Various government departments benefit from GCIS media engagement services.
However, Minister Mokonyane remains concerned about the performance of some DOC entities, particularly the SABC. The public broadcaster received a disclaimer audit opinion from the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) and this is a regression from the 2016/17 financial year when the SABC received an adverse audit opinion. Brand SA has also regressed from clean audit received in the past financial year to unqualified report. The FPB, ICASA and MDDA received unqualified reports.
“The disclaimer audit received by the SABC and unqualified audits for Brand SA, FPB, ICASA and MDDA require an intervention from the Department to assist and support the entities improve their status. We have established a Turnaround Task team comprising the Department of Communications and National Treasury to work with the SABC in this regard. Audit improvement plans are developed for areas that were highlighted in the management and audit reports,” said the Minister.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.