South Africa to Create a Super-Regulator for ICT Sector

Smartphone on wheels. Sashkin / Shutterstock.com
Smartphone on wheels. Sashkin / Shutterstock.com

The Communications and Digital Technologies is planning to develop a super-regulator to regulate various industries including ICT, films and publications, and domain authority.

Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams disclosed the government plans at a media conference in Pretoria on Thursday.

“The department will develop a model for smart regulation, which will include the amalgamation of Icasa, the FPB and ZADNA and explore new funding mechanisms for the new regulator,” Ndabeni-Abrahams, said on Thursday.

za Domain Name Authority (.ZADNA) is a statutory regulator and manager of .ZA – the Internet country code top-level domain for South Africa. It is accountable to the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, but does not receive government funding which means it is exempted from complying with the Public Finance Management Act.

While, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is the official regulator of the South African communications, broadcasting and postal services sectors. It develops regulations for these sectors, issue licences to telecommunications and broadcasting service providers, monitor licensee compliance with rules and regulations, plan and manage the radio frequency spectrum, and protect consumers against unfair business practices and poor-quality services.

FBP is a content-classification authority, which aims to ensure efficient and effective consumer protection through the regulation of films, games and certain publications.

The Films and Publications Act (No 65 of 1996) as amended establishes the Film and Publication Board. The objectives of this Act are to:

  • Regulate the creation, production, possession, and distribution of certain publications and certain films by means of classification, the imposition of age restrictions, and giving of consumer advice;
  • And make exploitative use of children in pornographic publications, films, or on the internet punishable.

Ndabeni-Abrahams added that state-owned NEMISA will be positioned to be a digital skills institute that will train government employees and members of the public.

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