South Africa: Icasa Appoints New Chief


The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) has finally appointed a new CEO after the previous head left midway through an internal investigation into her conduct last year.

The new CEO, Karabo Motlana, will take up the job from September 3. In a short statement yesterday Icasa said: "The authority looks forward to working with him and believes he will be of assistance in meeting the challenges that lie ahead and fulfilling its mandate."

Icasa regulates the telecommunications, broadcasting and postal sectors. It is notoriously understaffed, underskilled and underfunded.

Icasa chairman Paris Mashile has often complained that its best employees are routinely poached by the private sector, particularly by the high-paying cellphone operators.

Icasa began this year with 17 high-level vacancies.

For once Icasa is getting its own back, and has drawn Motlana from Cell C, where he is the head of regulatory affairs. Motlana previously worked in Telkom's regulatory and government affairs department.

Mashile could not be reached for comment on the new appointment yesterday.

Former CEO Jackie Manche quit the job midway through an inquiry into alleged breaches of the Public Finance Management Act and the Icasa Act. She had been suspended on full pay for 10 months before resuming her duties, then left during the Christmas holidays. The inquiry was quietly shelved without a verdict, as Icasa said there was no need to continue the probe once Manche had resigned.

Yesterday Democratic Alliance spokeswoman for telecommunications, Dene Smuts, said she hoped Icasa had appointed someone who understood the body's tasks and his role in the organisation.
(Business Day (Johannesburg), 15 August 2007

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