28 March 2019
The Minister of Communications, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams is moving towards finalising the policy directive on spectrum allocation, thus giving effect to the 2019 State of the Nation Address (SoNA) and Budget Speech pronouncements.
In the 2019 SoNA, President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated that the Minister of Communications will issue a policy direction to ICASA for the licensing of the high demand radio frequency spectrum. This was reiterated in the Budget Speech by Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni who further mentioned that, “this includes resourcing ICASA for this mandate.”
To this end, Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams has extensively engaged the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) with regards to the aforementioned policy directive. Further, and to ensure that the regulator is adequately resourced to effectively conduct the spectrum licencing process once the policy directive is issued, the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has reprioritised its finances and transferred R10 million to ICASA. These funds will provide for the requisite additional human and financial resources that will be borne by the regulator.
To ensure an inclusive approach, the Minister invited sector stakeholders to provide written submissions on their interpretation of the definition of the spectrum licencing process. A meeting with the stakeholders is scheduled for 2 April 2019 to further deliberate on the submissions and finalise the consultations.
The Minister reiterates the department's commitment to finalising the policy directive on licensing high demand spectrum and this will be issued by end of April 2019.
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