With the country’s general elections less than a month away, we again face the uncertainty of who will lead key ministerial portfolios – assuming (safely, I suppose) that the ANC once again comes out on top.

While at least two of the three departments that are pertinent to the ICT sector have enjoyed the benefits of stable and, arguably, qualified leadership in recent times, there is no guarantee that the status quo will ermain post 7 May.

In terms of the good, one can hardly complain about the state of affairs at the under the leadership of minister " rel=tag>Derek Hanekom, who has been at the helm since 2012, when he replaced " rel=tag>Naledi Pandor.

By all accounts, the (the DST) is progressing well with major initiatives, such as the construction of the multibillion-rand Square Kilometre Array project.

In addition, the DST earlier this year also completed the purchase of satellite company Sunspace – not only rescuing the business, but also giving government the capabilities to develop a multispectral, high-resolution earth-observation satellite called EO-Sat1, which is set for operation by 2017.

It was also encouraging to see that Hanekom dealt decisively with the Technology Innovation Agency’s CEO and CFO recently, axing both after a forensic investigation into allegations of maladministration at the agency.

In terms of the fair, one would have to say that communications minister " rel=tag>Yunus Carrim has, for the most part, dealt admirably with the challenges facing the (DOC), since he took over from the disgraced " rel=tag>Dina Pule, in July last year.

Granted, most of the milestones achieved by Carrim have been in the realm of laying down policy frameworks that are needed to drive forward SA’s ICT industry. While many burning issues are still outstanding, such as the ailing South African Broadcasting Corporation () board, migration and the high cost of telecoms in SA, Carrim’s leadership certainly inspires better confi dence than that of his predecessor.

Given the chance, Carrim could potentially be one of the more useful communications ministers that this country has seen in many years. Unfortunately, Carrim himself does not expect to retain the portfolio after the elections, but let’s wait and see.

Unfortunately, the bad and the ugly are both firmly represented by Lindiwe Sisulu, in her role as public service and administration minister. Since Sisulu took over the portfolio from – the very forgettable – Richard Baloyi, in 2012, the (DPSA) has done… well, very little.

The is in a shambles, the DPSA has still not managed to appoint a government CIO (some two and a half years later), and little progress has been made in terms of any other ICT-related matters – perhaps someone else should be given a crack at it.

There’s no telling what the National Cabinet will look like after the elections, but let’s hope that sanity prevails.

Happy reading!

Martin Czernowalow