Telecoms department criticised for too many acting heads

Parliament - The department of telecommunications and postal services came in for severe criticism in parliament on Wednesday as it laid bare its plans to revive itself.

MP Ellen Prins, who chairs parliament's select committee on telecommunications, said the department needed to be made accountable. But Prins said there was a slew of acting heads as she pointed down the table at the five acting directors general present.

''I think no one is taking responsibility actually because it's acting acting acting,'' said Prins.

''Obviously there is a problem, a big problem. We can't just carry on as if we are maar [just] going on from month to month,'' said Prins.

As a manager of Truworths in the private sector ''in a past life'', Prins said she knew how these things worked and that having things ''in the pipeline'', or at the policy stage, was simply not enough.

The acting deputy director general Joe Mjwara even agreed that things had been in a shambles for too long, but said the worst was over. 

He described Sentech as a ''shining star'', the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (Usaasa) as fulfilling its mission and said the corporatisation of the Post Bank was being finalised.

Mjwara said they had only one permanent deputy director general, but this was not why they weren't performing.

''We were part of this management. We are not new and we need to take responsibility,'' he said.

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