One would think that if you were tasked with communicating vital information and be responsible for “information dissemination and publicity”, you would actually be in a position to do so effectively.
As it turns out, South Africa’s newly reorganised Department of Communications (DoC) has neglected one of the biggest portals for information – their website.
President Jacob Zuma on Sunday announced his new cabinet, and for the Department of Communications he appointed Faith Muthambi. Yet almost a week after the announcement and swearing in of the new ministers, the DoC website still reflects former Minister Yunus Carrim as the current minister. This is the same department that is now responsible for “the branding of the country abroad”.
In the website’s ‘About Us’ section, the information hasn’t been updated to reflect the current announcements and still states that it “aims to develop ICT policies and legislations that create favourable conditions for accelerated and shared sustainable growth for the South African economy.”
Even on their homepage, there is no mention of the fact that effectively the original DoC has been split into two divisions, and that the newly-created Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services spin-off is to be led by Dr Siyabonga Cwele.
The only small indication that visitors might see in terms of a regime change, is the embedded Twitter feed at the bottom as they posted live updates on the new cabinet announcement.
Muthambi is simultaneously South Africa’s seventh Minister of Communications and its first, given the new scope of the department under her tenure. The late Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, who was appointed in 1999 is still the longest-serving minister of the portfolio with a tenure of almost 10 years. On average, South Africa’s communication ministers serve about two years in office before being either shuffled or removed.
htxt.africa has reached out to the DoC for comment.