MPs debate proposals to liberalise access to national fibre-optic, international gateway infrastructure

21 Aug 2017

Members of Parliament in Swaziland have called on the government to liberalise access to the state-owned national fibre-optic infrastructure and international gateway, Agence Ecofin reports. The liberalisation proposals – involving amendments to section 53 of the Electronic Communications Act of 2013 – have been put forward as a matter of urgency by a group of MPs citing the ineffectiveness of Swaziland Post & Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC) to manage its domestic/international infrastructure. ICT Minister Dumisani Ndlangamandla told parliament that his ministry requires 90 days to consult on the proposals, although some MPs argued that the timeframe was unnecessarily long, and demanded instead that the government present a relevant draft legal amendment by 29 August. The report notes that not all MPs are in favour of the liberalisation proposals, quoting Minister of Labour Winnie Magagula as saying the move would ‘pose a threat to national security’.