ANC lashes communications minister over digital migration


Communications Minister Faith Muthambi interacts with National Youth Development Agency beneficiaries in Nelspruit as part of the Ministerial Imbizo Outreach Programme on 5 September 2014.

JOHANNESBURG – The ANC has publicly rebuked Communications Minister Faith Muthambi over her "unmandated" comments on the digital migration policy.

In a statement signed by ANC communications subcommittee chairperson Jackson Mthembu, the ANC said Muthambi had no mandate to talk about decisions taken at the ANC&39;s recent national general council, where the policy on digital migration was discussed.

The ANC and Muthambi seem to disagree over the policy and whether government-sponsored set-top boxes should be encrypted.

The statement follows a Communications Ministry statement challenging the ANC&39;s decision to reverse the digital migration policy, in which Muthambi effectively called Mthembu a liar.

On Sunday the ANC said it wanted to meet with Muthambi to discuss the issue because it had not been consulted about digital migration.

Muthambi says her policy is not up for reversal.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Muthambi disputed Mthembu’s comments that the ANC was unhappy about the digital migration deadline, the encryption component of the process and instability at the SABC, claiming these were never discussed at the NGC.

But the ANC lashed out at Muthambi on Tuesday night, with ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa saying the party would schedule an urgent meeting between the ministries of post and telecommunications and communication.

“We want to assert that the responsibility to communicate the ANC NEC conference, the NGC and other decisions reside with the secretary-general of the ANC, spokesperson of the ANC and chairpersons of ANC NEC subcommittees.

“It is unfortunate that Minister Muthambi, despite this reality, she opted again to speak on ANC decisions unmandated and in the process she unfortunately accused the chairperson of the subcommittee of being a liar,” Kodwa said.

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