6 March 2017
Speech delivered by the Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi on the occasion of hosting the Russian Deputy Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications Mr A Volin in South Africa
Your Excellency the honourable Deputy Minister Mr. Alexey Volin
GCIS Acting Director-General Mr Donald Liphoko
DoC Acting Director-General Mr Ndivhuho Munzhelele
Chief Executive Officers of various entities of government
Representatives from the South African media
Representatives from the Russian media
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a great honour and privilege to host the Russian delegation led by the Hon Deputy Minister of Telecom and Mass Communication his Excellency Mr Volin in this exchange programme on communications as part of the Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme. The Government Communications (GCIS) and the Department of Communications participated in the 14th session of ITEC with our Russian counterparts that was held last year November in Pretoria.
The Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) was initially signed in 1999 between the Republic of South Africa and the Russian Federation. ITEC has proven to be an effective instrument in contributing directly to improved two-way trade and investment, as well as critical skills development and technology exchanges, and has given practical substance to the political commitment on the part of our two countries.
The timing of this exchange is significant in the year where South Africa celebrates the 100th centenary of OR Tambo. When President Zuma launched the 100 years centenary celebration he said “The year 2017 marks the centenary of the late Tambo, a national icon and hero of the liberation struggle, who shaped the country’s vision, mission and value system”. OR Tambo is one of the key founding fathers of South Africa’s liberation and constitutional democracy. As a country we are indebted to the support that was given to South Africa by Russia against the fight and eventual triumph over the evil of apartheid.
South Africa enjoys strong bilateral relations with Russia. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992. This year both countries are celebrating the 25th anniversary of lasting diplomatic relations. The historical links between South Africa and the Russian Federation are strong. The legal instruments and mechanisms that affirm the strategic relationship between the two countries include the Protocol on Political Consultations signed in 1994
South Africa is the biggest trading partner of Russia in the African continent. The two countries enjoy strong trade relations in the area of Mining, Energy, Agriculture, Communications, Science and Technology.
Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen;
We need to tell the story of the relations between South Africa and Russia using the different media platforms available at our disposal. We need to tell the stories that will also reach the ordinary men and women in our respective countries, so that they should understand the significance of our bilateral and economic relations. It cannot be that our two government’s have made major progress over these past 25 years of formal relations yet people-to-people exposure and contact remain low. By enhancing our shared communication efforts we will promote not only valuable trade and investment as well as skills and technology exchange. We will also be opening opportunities for the people’s of our two countries to learn more about each other and champion the common developmental and political goals our two nations share.
This platform has been created to exchange best practices in the area of Communications and Media. The Deputy Minister is accompanied by industry leaders from the Russian Federation. We have invited our industry experts as well on our side to ensure that this session is a success for both countries.
South Africa is currently migrating from analogue to digital. We had our first analogue switch off on the 28th October 2016 in Carnarvon in the Northern Cape Province. We hope we will share best experiences in the area of digital migration as part of this exchange.
This session will look at a number of areas of cooperation including amongst others:
- State of Digital Terrestrial Television
- Allocation of previously-Used-Broadcasting Spectrum to Telecoms
- High premium Content and Competition in the Pay-Tv
- Regulation and classification of Broadcast Content
- State Support for Television Companies and Development of the associated industries
- Structure of broadcasting Foreign Content
- Mass media co-operation between the respective public and state broadcasters
- Content sharing and technology transfer for our respective Press Agencies
I would like to wish all delegates productive and fruitful deliberations today and tomorrow. I am also looking forward to hosting all the delegates during the dinner that will be held tonight. South Africa and Africa is your second home Deputy Minister, feel at home and enjoy your stay in our beautiful country.
Issued by Department of Communications