The plan to merge ICASA, .zaDNA, and USAASA
13 October 2017
The Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services presented its project to consolidate the entities responsible for regulating the ICT sector in South Africa "The regulation is currently split between different entities, including the Ministry, ICASA, .zaDNA and USAASA," said Minister Siyabonga Cwele. This has resulted in overlapping and overlapping roles, as well as a lack of coordination among the entities.
In his view, the regulation of infrastructure, networks and the spectrum of radio frequencies requires constitutional requirements that are very different from those underlying the regulation of content or broadcasting.
"In this regard, the draft law on the Commission and the ICT Tribunal creates a consolidated regulatory body as envisaged in the White Paper."
The new draft law provides for the creation of an authority to regulate the ICT sector. This includes:
Regulation of the electronic communications sector.
Licensing and regulation of electronic communications networks and services.
Licensing and regulation of spectrum and other scarce resources.
Licensing and regulation of postal services.
Regulation of ex ante competition.
Assignment and management of domain names.
Establishment and operation of a court to hear appeals.
The Department also wants to amend the Electronic Communications Act to provide new strategic approaches to supply issues, infrastructure deployment and resource allocation
The amendment also aims to reduce the cost of communications through an open wireless access network.
USAASA will be dissolved
The ministry said the new plan provided for the dissolution of the South African Agency for Services and Access (USAASA). The existing Universal Access and Service Fund will be transformed into an autonomous funding agency to support universal service and access.
"The Digital Development Fund (DDF) bill gives effect to this political goal," Cwele said.
"The SDF will provide funds to support universal service and access to ICT infrastructure, services and applications and postal services"