Mpumalanga makes cabinet comeback

2011-10-29 15:59

Communications Minister Dina Pule has a penchant for serving brief stints in ministerial positions.

The two years she spent as Mpumalanga’s safety and security MEC, between 2005 and 2007, were the longest she served in a portfolio.

Her profile on the government website shows that her stints at the provincial agriculture and sports departments lasted about a year.

Between 2009 and this year, this member of the ANC’s national executive committee sub-committee on communications changed portfolios three times.

Even her rise from a low-ranking civil servant – community liaison officer at the provincial health department in 1996 – to an influential portfolio in the national government has been nothing short of meteoric.

It’s no surprise the former activist and teacher from a village outside Hazyview has made history by being the first cabinet minister to come from Mpumalanga since 1994.

Assuming a portfolio in a sector that’s dominated by lobbyists is not easy.

The Support Public Broadcasting coalition has greeted her appointment with suggestions that she should prioritise broadcasting policy reform.

Her predecessor had promised to attend to policy review before his surprise removal this week.

Other technology sector observers say her other priorities should include unbundling the local loop and allocation of the new radio frequency spectrum, all of which are things Pule would be aware of as she has been in the communications ministry before.

While some groups want local loop unbundling, the Communications Workers Union has rejected this on the basis that it could cost its members jobs.

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