Govt planning to merge DTPS, ICASA, .zaDNA and USAASA

12 Oct 2017

South Africa’s government has revealed a plan to merge the various regulators currently overseeing the telecoms and ICT sectors in the country, MyBroadband writes. Telecoms minister Siyabonga Cwele said that sector regulation is currently spread across different entities, including the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS), the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the Domain Name Authority (.zaDNA), and the Universal Service Access Agency (USAASA), which has resulted in ‘overlaps, duplication of roles and lack of coordination.’ Under the government plans, the new consolidated regulator will be responsible for: regulating the electronic communications sector; internet governance; licensing and regulation of electronic communications networks and services; licensing and regulation of spectrum and other scarce resources; licensing and regulation of postal services; ex-ante competition regulation; protection of consumers; allocation and management of domain names; and establishment and operation of a tribunal to deal with appeals.

Further, the DTPS is planning to amend the Electronic Communications Act to provide new policy approaches on infrastructure rollouts and the allocation of scarce resources. The amendment also aims to lower the cost of communications via the establishment of a wireless open access network (WOAN).