Comment Extended on Electronic Communications Amendment Bill

Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services

The comment period for the Draft Electronic Communications Amendment Bill has been extended.

The bill was published for comment in November 2017.

The proposed legislation flows from the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper.

The draft bill seeks to:

•    amend the Act, so as to align it with the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper approved by Cabinet on 28 September 2016;
•    provide for transformation of the sector through enforcement of broad-based black economic empowerment;
•    provide for lowering of cost of communications, reducing infrastructure duplications and encouraging service based competition through a wireless open access network;
•    provide a new framework for rapid deployment of electronic communications facilities;
•    provide for new approaches on scarce resources such as spectrum including the allocation of high demand spectrum on open access principles;
•    create a new framework for open access;
•    provide for the regulation of international roaming including SADC roaming to ensure regulated roaming costs, quality of service and transparency;
•    provide for regular market definition and review to ensure effective competition;
•    provide for improved quality of services including for persons with disabilities;
•    provide for consumer protection of different types of end-users and subscribers, including persons and institutions;
•    provide for enhanced cooperation between the National Consumer Commission and Authority as well as the Competition Commission and the Authority; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.

Comment is now invited until 31 January 2018.

Meanwhile, in a recent statement, the telecommunications and postal services department declared that it remained committed to “continuous meaningful engagements with all stakeholders as it seeks to implement the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper in a manner that is least disruptive to investment in the sector.”

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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