The long-awaited broadband policy for South Africa will be ready in November after presentations to the industry and the Cabinet, Communications Minister Yunus Carrim said on Monday.
The Department of Communications, which has had a turbulent couple of years, has continued to struggle to meet its targets, with its annual report tabled in Parliament on Friday showing that 46% of total planned targets were not “fully” achieved.
The absence of a policy, highlighted by the Treasury in the medium-term budget policy statement last year, had dashed the government’s hopes of spreading broadband beyond the 15.8% of the population with access to the technology.
The failure to roll out broadband expeditiously also made a mockery of the Department of Communications’ claim that it had prioritised broadband penetration for the next five years to achieve 100% access by 2020.
The Treasury said in its medium-term budget policy statement in 2012 that its performance had not been up to scratch, largely due to delays in finalising the national broadband strategy.