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“Contentious” South African communications bill withdrawn

Joint IIC - Italian Chapter and Agcom workshop

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, South Africa’s communications minister, has withdrawn the contentious Electronic Communications Amendment Bill, reports TechCentral. “The draft legislation, which creates the framework for a wholesale open-access network has drawn severe criticism from Vodacom, MTN and others over, among other things, its proposal to force network operators to provide wholesale access to their infrastructure on a cost-orientated and open-access basis as well as its proposal to usurp certain powers from communications regulator ICASA and give these to the minister… Ndabeni-Abrahams told a parliamentary portfolio committee that she is keen for the private sector to play a greater role in the development of the telecoms industry.” In a letter to Jabu Mahlangu, the chairman of the portfolio committee on telecommunications and postal services, the minister said: “…I hereby withdraw the bill for further consultations. As part of this process, we will also assess the policy and regulatory requirements needed to support the fourth industrial revolution and the digital economy. The Electronic Communications Amendment Bill will also have to evolve to support our drive to create a digital society and should contribute to strengthening and enabling the regulatory environment…” Democratic Alliance MP, Marian Shinn, said she welcomes the move to withdraw the bill, especially the “intention to allow the private sector to play a pivotal role, with a review of the role of ICASA in the fourth industrial revolution and assurances of its independence”. Read more

  • Tuesday, 19 February 2019

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