The Portfolio Committee on Communications has welcomed a presentation on the special adjustment budget for the 2020/21 financial year by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).
The adjustment budget is presented in line with the 2020 Revised Fiscal Framework and the Adjustments Appropriation Bill, tabled by the Minister of Finance to the hybrid sitting of the National Assembly on 24 June 2020.
In May, the GCIS presented the annual performance plan (APP) and budget of R720.5 million for the current financial year. Now, through the special adjustment budget, the National Treasury has appropriated to the GCIS an additional R60 million to strengthen government communication, and to raise awareness about the Covid-19 pandemic.
The GCIS undertook to spend the additional budget as follows: R50.1 million on electronic and print media, R3.9 million on print products and distributions, and R6 million on advertising.
The committee believes that GCIS is doing good work with regard to delivering on its mandate during this pandemic, and that it is doing so while ensuring good governance. The committee encouraged the entity to channel an equitable share of the additional budget to community media. It further welcomed GCIS’s idea to procure a Sentech line for community radio broadcasts.
Additionally, the committee agreed with the President’s determination to freeze at 0% an increase on salaries of the Chairperson and Councillors of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).
The committee further held that the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies should return to present on the performance management system of the Icasa Chairperson and Councillors in terms of section 6A(1) of the Icasa Act.