R/€ = 13.13
R/$ = 12.07
Au 1187.17 $/oz
Pt 1125.50 $/oz
Sep 27, 2001
Telecoms Bill ‘out of step’ with industryBack
© Reuse this EN Online Telecommunications Release/reuters The draft Telecommunications Amendment Bill, which is to be the subject of public hearings in Parliament next week, has been universally condemned by telecommunications bodies, information technology organisations and business representatives.
They claim that the Bill ignores the consultative process which preceded it and that it is out of step with industry and South African needs. Drafting of the Amendment Bill comes at a crucial time for the long-term development of the telecommunications industry, especially in the light of Telkom’s upcoming IPO. The proposed legislation, industry representatives said, had surprised most observers and has been formulated in stark contrast to the newly implemented process of liberalisation.
Telkom CE Sizwe Nxasana told Reuters that failure to improve the draft before it is adopted would affect anticipated telecoms investments, estimated by industry analysts at up to R32-billion next year.
South Africa is due next year to list about 20% of Telkom, license a second national fixed-line operator and sell most of its 24% stake in mobile group M-Cell. Nxasana said that the final Act should be constitutional in all its respects, and that it should continue to enhance South Africa's institutions of democracy by establishing clear roles and relationships, clear functions and facilities-based aspects of the new competitive phase.
He added that the Act must further be incisive in its definitions to provide the largest possible measure of certainty about concepts and intentions, not only for legal drafting and academic purposes, but because the industry, the regulator and the justice and arbitration system all depend on the sharpness of those definitions to succeed in their endeavours.
“Finally, the Act must designate and grant clear rights and entitlements but similarly prescribe clear prohibitions and deterrents so that all stakeholders have the least doubt possible about their roles and rights in the market place of the new and liberalising phase,” he said.
Telkom is already 30% owned by SBC Communications of the US and Telekom Malaysia.
In addition, South African Value Added Network Service Association chairperson Mike van den Bergh expressed disappointment that the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s recommendations regarding VANS and VPNs had been totally ignored by the Bill. He said this showed contempt for the industry regulator and raised serious questions about the intent of the drafting of the Bill. This view is also shared by the Internet Service Providers Association co-chairperson Edwin Thompson, who said,”It is extremely disappointing that the Bill ignores a number of the rulings by Icasa”.
He added that the uncertainty, confusion and litigation that has enveloped the industry since its inception is bound to continue to the detriment of investors and all South African users of Internet and other services. “This uncertainty will continue to frustrate innovation and investment in the roll-out of new services,” he said.
Information Technology Association president Teryl Schroenn also noted that it is imperative that government becomes more responsive to the ongoing calls from the South African information communication technology industry for legislation that will enable, rather than inhibit the development of the national economy. “The legislation, as proposed, does not adequately answer this call,” said Schroenn.
President of Information Industry South Africa president Adrian Schofield commented that implementation of the Bill would result in a Telkom monopoly over the critical computer and telecommunications equipment and services industry. This, he said, “would cause immediate and major harm to the South African economy, and would deny South African consumers and businesses the undisputed benefits of competition in the provision of this equipment by raising prices, restricting consumer choice, and stifling innovation”. © Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Business Process Outsourcing News
There were indications that consumers were no longer leading technological changes, with enterprises now driving the impetus for information technology (IT) adoption after a decade-long lull, advisory firm Deloitte said on Thursday, unpacking the findings of its...
Despite widespread perception that the Internet of Things (IoT) will be consumer-driven, the emerging phenomenon is going to be more about “things” than people, Deloitte’s latest Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Predications 2015 report has revealed....
Information technology security expertise is expensive, but sales channel partners can use their combined clout to share experts among the various partners, enabling small clients also to access expert security advice, says information and communications technology...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Updated 3 hours ago While strongly welcoming the promulgation of the new Part 101 of South Africa’s civil aviation regulations, governing the commercial operation of civil remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) in South Africa, the Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Association of Southern Africa...
Updated 3 hours ago LSM Distributors has contracted engineering consultancy WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa to undertake the R100-million restoration of the 54-year-old Kyalami racetrack, situated in Midrand. The restoration will assist in re-establishing it as a venue for...
Updated 3 hours ago South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has expressed the hope that the defence budget will be significantly increased over the next five years. She did so while addressing the media in her recent budget vote media briefing. The 2015/2016 defence...
Updated 3 hours ago The African Development Bank (AfDB) has been an implementing agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since 2008. The relatively young portfolio has 28 projects over 30 countries on the continent according to the 2014 AfDB and GEF annual report released...
Updated 3 hours ago Investment in South African youth through apprenticeships and learnerships will not only create direct benefits for businesses but will also contribute significantly to job creation and socioeconomic transformation in the country.