The Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services believes that coordination of the work of the public sector and private sector, particularly where both sectors are in agreement is key to addressing the challenges faced by the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
The two-day ICT seminar hosted by the Committee brought to the fore discussions around price and affordability, accessibility and universal access and the quality and reliability of mobile networks, funding and institutional arrangements, which are the key issues affecting South Africans at the moment.
The Committee has noted the slow roll-out of ICT services on essential government services such as e-connectivity to police stations, health facilities, municipalities and schools. The Committee aims to follow up on the progress of the delivery of these services.
The role of postal services in the ICT sector in particular the South African Post Office is another area that the Committee will give special attention to.
The Committee believes that the South African Post Office is still a critical aspect that assists government in delivering services particularly in remote areas where there are no ICT services.
However issues of declining mail volumes and the impact of universal service obligations necessitates for the rethink of the role of the Post Office in the digital environment.
The Committee, in the near future, will also embark on an oversight visit to remote areas to determine the level of availability of the ICT ecosystems such as accessibility of internet, mobile services, e-government and e-connectivity and e-skills.
The Committee appreciates the engagement with these key stakeholders, the information sharing sessions has been fruitful and eye-opening and the Committee looks forward to incorporating the inputs made in it programme and hopes for more engagements of this nature in future.
ISSUED BY PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES, MS MMAMOLOKO KUBAYI
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Source : Parliament of South Africa