The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Chief Joang Molapo says there is a challenge of minimal coverage of programmes and news coverage countrywide due to lack of manpower.

Proposing the financial estimates for his ministry at the National Assembly on Monday, Chief Molapo said there is also shortage of vehicles and local subsistence.

He said there is poor resource availability in the form of goods and services that leads to low productivity of human resource.

Chief Molapo said there is continued high unforeseen costs imposed by other ministries particularly Palace and Prime Minister’s office on local and international coverage as well as poor implementation of existing policies and the absence of policies in key areas of operation.

The Minister highlighted that key upcoming policy interventions such as reorganisation of broadcasting directorate to move away from a traditional style structure towards a structure more supportive of innovation and creativity will be carried out.

He further said there will be development of multiple new cyber related laws consistent with principles of freedom of speech and respect for individual privacy but which will allow the government to protect individual citizens from online harassment and intimidation and further allow government to properly investigate cybercrimes and prosecute perpetrators.

“We will not be closing Facebook and Whatsapp or using state resources to chase the likes of Makhaola Qalo,” he noted.

The Minister said his ministry will intensively interact with all governmental departments and line ministries to ensure maximum utilisation of technologies aimed at improving operations, increasing productivity and reducing communication related costs.

On the other hand, he said his ministry will elevate service quality from Radio Lesotho, Lesotho Television and Ultimate Radio, adding that existing technical and challenges such as sound quality, poor editing and limited outside broadcast capacity will be addressed.

He said the Ministry will facilitate increase in the area of coverage and presence of Radio Lesotho, Ultimate Radio and Lesotho Television, while assisting private and commercial broadcasters.

“There will be affordable, reliable and dependable communication networks and system for all Government Departments as the backbone for the provision of e-Government services,” he stressed.

Chief Molapo said to begin the process of recognising the importance and potential of Science and Technology through resource allocation and ensure systematic support for research and innovation, Lesotho begins to reap this benefit.

In conclusion he said the Ministry will promote local talent and technical capacity in television and radio.

The Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology’s mandate is to provide affordable, sustainable, accessible and reliable commutations services; to be a provider and reservoir of technological knowhow through research and development; the coordination of innovation to accelerate economic growth and improve the quality of life.


Source: LENA 24/07/2017


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