He needs to put brakes on the high life

2011-10-29 15:54

The removal of Roy Padayachie from the communications portfolio has taken the telecommunications industry by surprise.

His appointment as communications minister last year was hailed as a breath of fresh air by a sector that had seemed weary of his predecessor, Siphiwe Nyanda, and had hoped for a quickening of pace in the fast-changing communications sector.

That’s partly because he’d worked as deputy communications minister for five years before he was moved to the public service and administration portfolio in 2009, where he served as deputy minister until last year.

People who’ve dealt with Padayachie praise him for opting for the digital migration standard after a period of uncertainty about whether to follow the European or Japanese-Brazilian standard. He’d also started reviewing the country’s broadcasting policy.

The 61-year-old former United Democratic Front activist is now back at the helm of the public service portfolio, where he’s likely to find some outstanding issues waiting for him.

At the top of his new office’s intray will no doubt be the one document that has partly caused this week’s cabinet reshuffle – the infamous ministerial handbook.

His predecessor, Richard Baloyi, was asked to review it to stop some of the abuses blamed on it, such as the purchases of expensive ministerial cars and ministers’ costly hotel stays. Baloyi had pledged to amend the Public Service Act to stop public servants suspended for long periods from receiving pay.

Padayachie will have to combat corruption and enforce public service ethics.

And regarding government departments just paying lip service to Public Service Commission recommendations, he’ll have to ensure compliance.

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