The Portfolio Committee on Communications has welcomed presentations on the special adjustment budget for the 2020/21 financial year by the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT), as well as the Universal Services and Access Agency of South Africa (Usasa).

The adjustment budget is presented in line with the 2020 Revised Fiscal Framework and the Adjustments Appropriation Bill, tabled by the Minister of Finance to the hybrid sitting of the National Assembly on 24 June 2020.

In May, the department presented the annual performance plan (APP) and budget of R3.3 billion for the current financial year, subsequent to the main budget speech, which was made in February. The department’s budget has now been reduced by R111 million, and it will later be followed by the revised APP.

The committee has welcomed the work done by the department thus far, in implementing the digital terrestrial television programme, which includes, among other things, ensuring that all set-top boxes that are currently stored at the warehouse of the South African Post Office are distributed to the deserving households. The work further includes the roll out of the integrated digital televisions in order to enable learning during and post the Covid-19 pandemic.

The committee also encouraged the department to develop a communication strategy to reach out to the unsubscribed market in the digital terrestrial television programme.

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