ICASA, BrandSA fail to meet DOC's targets

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ICASA could not achieve most of its targets, according to minister Faith Muthambi's performance review report.
ICASA could not achieve most of its targets, according to minister Faith Muthambi's performance review report.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) and Brand South Africa failed to meet almost all targets set by the Department of Communications (DOC).

On Tuesday, minister Faith Muthambi delivered the 2014/15 third quarter performance information report, stating during the period under review, the department and its entities experienced mixed performances.

The DOC's other entities include the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Film and Publication Board (FPB), GCIS, and Media Development and Diversity Agency of South Africa.

Muthambi revealed ICASA could not achieve most of its targets. "Key deliverables that were not achieved include the licensing of additional free-to-air television broadcasting services, issuing regulations in the provision of subscription broadcasting television services, position paper on retail tariff transparency, and compilation of a draft research report covering factors that affect the cost of digital terrestrial television in SA."

ICASA was also unable to spend funds earmarked for ring-fenced projects during the three quarters of the 2014/15 financial year, said the minister.

Muthambi noted R24.1 million remained unspent at the end of the third quarter.

"As the result of under-spending on ring-fenced projects, ICASA has applied to the National Treasury for the retention of unspent accumulated funds amounting to R85 million. The funds have been accumulating over the past three financial years, and lack of skills to execute these projects seems to be the main challenge facing the authority," Muthambi explained.

Brand SA, the entity set up to help create a positive brand image for SA, was unable to achieve almost all key deliverables for the period.

According to Muthambi, Brand SA seems to spend excessive resources outside the country, while not paying sufficient attention to domestic branding.

"Key deliverables that were not achieved include branding and messaging, pride and patriotism, and active citizenship among South Africans, as well as positioning SA positively as a business destination among domestic and international target audiences."

Brand SA plans to start implementing its key targets in the fourth quarter of the 2014/15 financial year, she added.

Meanwhile, the minister says the department is encouraged by the SABC's performance for the period under review, as well as the FPB, which was able to achieve the majority of key deliverables.

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