Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo says the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) is working towards filling vacancies in order to improve governance and operational performance at the entity.
The Minister said this when she led the presentation of the entity's 2016/17 annual report at the Old Assembly on Tuesday.
MDDA was supposed to have filled 90% of the approved positions and a new organogram was approved in quarter four of the previous year but recruitment in 2016/17 was initially focussed on positions covered by funding that had been committed and recruitment for some positions reporting to the CEO had also been put on hold to enable the permanent CEO to participate in the recruitment process, the Minister said.
This comes after President Jacob Zuma recently announced the appointments of Nkgakga Monare, a Deputy Managing Director at the Tiso Blackstar Group and Tasneem Carrim as non-executive members of the MDDA board.
Carrim is the Acting Deputy Director-General of Content Processing and Dissemination in the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).
Briefing Members of Parliament, the Minister said the filling of critical positions at the entity remained a priority this year as the vacancies have impacted on several performance indicators that could not be met as a result.
And with the commitment by two major funders this year, the focus was intensified on recruiting for all the positions in the organogram.
Recruitment of all outstanding positions continue to be focussed in 2017/18 and as I said, with some of the entities, they will fill in some of these positions by end of November but with others it will be end of January.
Still on Human Resource Management, [another] performance indicator is to review performance management systems and the target was one.
The position of HR was vacant resulting in capacity constraints within the HR unit and in 2016/17, an HR plan was approved which covers the review of the performance management system with the appointment of the HR manager in quarter one of the 2017/18 financial year. The review of the performance management system is being carried out in this financial year, she said.
MDDA proactive in supporting community media
The Minister said, meanwhile, that the MDDA, which is tasked with providing support to community media with an aim of ensuring transformation and diversity in the media sector, was proactive in supporting broadcast community projects in the period under review.
On the community broadcaster sub-programme, which is the community broadcast media, the number of community televisions stations supported for strengthening was four. There were limited applications from community radio stations. The MDDA has adopted a proactive approach to engage with these sectors to identify where support for community TV is required, she said.
The Minister, meanwhile, said that not all of the allocated funds for community broadcast media were disbursed during the 2016/17 financial year and this was due to poor reporting from funded projects.
On community broadcast still, the other one is the percentage of broadcast funds disbursed and it is set at 80%. The reason for the failure was that beneficiary projects and non-performance and late reporting has negatively impacted on the MDDA's ability to adequately disburse funds to these beneficiaries.
The MDDA has carried out a root-cause analysis into the reasons why various projects defect and fail to report adequately and in time as required by the grant agreements, she said.
Concept document to review MDDA Act
She said, meanwhile, that a concept document on the review of the MDDA Act has been developed and will soon be submitted.
A concept document has been developed but waiting for that MDDA impact study and the Department of Communications Print Media transformation study for greater in-depth analysis but both studies will be available in 2017/18 and the outcomes will be used to finalise the concept document.
On the MDDA digital migration strategy approved, both studies will be available in 2017/18 and the outcomes will be used to finalise the concept document along with the input from the MDDA supported online projects.
On capacity building, the number of partnership agreements with credited learning institutions and training institutions per province, which was set at four, the capacity building projects were deferred to the end of quarter three until the outcome of the MDDA impact study. The impact study will be finalised at the end of October 2017 and the results will be used to establish appropriate training partnerships for 2017/18.
Source: South African Government News Agency