After not quite a year in office, South African Minister of Communications Roy Padayachie has been moved to the Public Service & Administration Ministry as per President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet re-shuffle announced on 24 October. Dina Pule, who served as Deputy Minister under Padayachie’s predecessor Siphiwe Nyanda, is the new Communications Minister.
Current Deputy Minister of Communications Obed Bapela has been moved to the presidency and is replaced by Stella Tembisa Ndabeni.
It is possible that this re-shuffle may once again delay the already much delayed digital migration project, which will see South Africa migrate to digital terrestrial television (DTT). Earlier in the year Padayachie announced that the commercial launch of DTT will commence roll out in April 2012. It remains to be seen whether the new Minister will meet this deadline.
Padaychie, regarded as a strong leader, was also heavily involved in the long awaited and much needed broadcasting policy review which will set new terms for South Africa’s stricken public service broadcasting environment. He was also up to speed with the on-going financial, management and board crises at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
TechCentral reports that the re-shuffle may also delay the allocation of new radio frequency spectrum needed by telecommunications operators to build next-generation wireless broadband networks. (Additional source: My Broadband)