Communication Bills tabled in Parliament

Cleaning up on communications….

Following their cabinet approval two communication Bills have now been tabled in Parliament; firstly, the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill and secondly, the Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Amendment Bill.

The first named, Electronic Communications Amendment Bill, is very much a regulatory Bill, the background stating that the proposed legislation was “in line with the liberalisation process of the electronic communications sector and rapid technological advancements which have rendered some of the Act’s provisions redundant.”

Needed overhaul

It says, “Because it was the first such law, over time it has become obvious that certain provisions are not capable of implementation in the way that was intended or do not have the intended effect when applied. There are also areas of ambiguity and vagueness which hamper efficient and effective regulation.”

The Bill deals with competition, promotion and limitation; access to electronic communications infrastructure; communication costs; as well as “improving turnaround time for consultative processes”. It also proposes “to incorporate the authority’s recommendation on ownership and control of commercial broadcasting services.”

The document says the Bill is aligned with broad-based black economic empowerment legislation; refines licensing issues and wishes to improve competition provisions and remove regulatory bottlenecks.

ICASA Bill follows NDP

The second Bill, the ICASA Amendment Bill, is focused, it says, on the National Development Plan; clarifies some of the powers and duties of ICASA; lines up with the Public Finance Management Act and focuses on institutional improvements to strengthen the financial and administrative independence of the authority.

Importantly, the legality of networks and services for electronic transactions is confirmed. Also, “mechanisms”, the background to the Bill says, are proposed to ensure accountability of ICASA staff and its councillors.

Finally, a full commission is proposed to handle complaints as distinct from the current ICASA complaints committee.

Leave a Reply

This website is Archival

If you want your publications as they come from Parliament please contact ParlyReportSA directly. All information on this site is posted two weeks after client alert reports sent out.

Upcoming Articles

  1. Jeremy Cronin back on land expropriation issue
  2. Integrated Energy Plan reflects cleaned-up thinking
  3. Changes to Companies Act headed for Parliament
  4. State Bank a strong possibility with certain provisos
  5. No more Competition Commission yellow card warnings
  6. Business to meet transformation targets by law

Earlier Editorials

Earlier Stories

  • AARTO licence demerit system studied  …. In what has been a legislative marathon, the update of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) has now reached a stage […]

  • SARS role at border posts being clarified …. In adopting the Border Management Authority (BMA) Bill, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs agreed with a wording that at all future one-stop border […]

  • Modernising SAPO a culture change ….. sent to clients 27 February…. Stage by stage, Mark Barnes, Group Chief Executive Officer of South African Post Office (SAPO), appears to be reforming cultures and […]

  • OECD money task force waiting for SA   ….sent to clients Feb 7…. Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Yunus Carrim, made it quite clear in terms of parliamentary rules that […]

  • President Zuma vs Parliament on FICA Bill …..editorial……The convoluted thinking that is taking place in South Africa to avoid the consequences of the law has once again become evident in […]