HAVING had to deal with the shenanigans at the SABC, MPs are now targeting the simmering tensions and power struggle between the management and the council of the communications regulatory body, Icasa, writes Siyabonga Mkhwanazi in the Sunday Tribune.

The National Assembly's committee on communications has given Icasa an ultimatum to resolve tensions between councillors and management before the end of the month, or the committee would be forced to take action.

Committee chairperson Ismail Vadi (ANC) told the Tribune that Icasa was in a state of paralysis because of the turf war between councillors, led by chairman Paris Mashile, and management, under chief executive officer Karabo Motlana.

Vadi said they had picked up the problem when the portfolio committee visited Icasa offices in Johannesburg this week as part of its oversight function.

"There are no effective rules between councillors and staff. There is a widening rift between councillors and senior management," said Vadi, adding that this was probably caused by both councillors and managers working full-time for the body.

As a result of this structural arrangement, the two arms end up encroaching on each other's territory, he said.

"They have a hybrid model… where they have Mashile who wields power. You have Karabo Motlana as the CEO – he is the accounting officer. The two arms of the institution are not getting it right.

"We told them that by the time they come to Parliament (to table their annual report on November 3) we want a full report on how they are going to manage the relationship (between councillors and management)," said Vadi.

He said they were concerned that the tensions between the two structures resulted in Icasa not undertaking its tasks to its full potential, which included issuing broadcasting licences and regulating the communications playground.

"We felt the institution is not functioning at optimal level. You have a situation where you have two arms not working in tandem," said Vadi.

Motlana confirmed that Vadi had ordered the executive managers and councillors to iron out their differences before briefing the communications committee early next month. He said the meeting would take place soon.

Click here to read the full report, posted on iol.co.za.