1 May 2019
Response to media reports on the non-transfer of funds to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa
The Minister of Communications, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, has noted with concern media reports and subsequent media briefing held by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in respect of the non-transfer of funds to ICASA, allegedly due to its 2019/20 Annual Performance Plan (APP) not being approved by the Minister.
At the outset, it must be categorically stated that the Minister, at no point issued an instruction against the transfer of funds to ICASA owing to its APP pending approval. The Minister accordingly advised ICASA to rectify certain issues contained in its APP and submit a revised version by 30th April 2019.
It is common cause that the PFMA and related National Treasury regulations govern the approval of APP’s and budget allocations. National Treasury Regulations require that the accounting authority (Council of ICASA) submits an APP for approval by the relevant executive authority (the Minister) who subsequently tables it in parliament.
It must further be noted that funds transfer from a government department to an entity fall within the competency of the department’s Accounting Officer (Director-General). The Ministry has since engaged with the Accounting Officer and the requisite funds have been transferred to ICASA.
On a separate issue and following extensive consultations in this regard, the Minister deems it necessary to hold the Policy Direction on Unassigned High Demand Spectrum in abeyance for consideration in the sixth administration.
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