Adoption of amended telecoms bill delayed till mid-2019

29 Nov 2018

The Electronic Communications Amendment Bill will likely no longer be passed in parliament before South Africa’s 2019 general election. MP Marian Shinn told TechCentral that the Democratic Alliance has questioned the bill’s constitutionality and warned that it had been ‘incorrectly tagged’ as a Section 75 Bill when submitted into the parliamentary process. The bill has been re-tabled in parliament as a Section 76 Bill. Mrs Shin said: ‘This means it cannot be passed in this parliament before the election as it has to be debated in the provincial legislatures and in the national council of provinces, as well as the National Assembly.’ The draft legislation, which creates the framework for a wholesale open-access network (WOAN) operator, has drawn severe criticism over its proposal to force network operators to provide wholesale access to their infrastructure on a cost-orientated and open-access basis, and the plan to transfer certain powers from telecoms watchdog ICASA to the telecoms minister.

South Africa, Independent Communications Authority South Africa (ICASA)