The African National Congress welcomes the issuing of temporary radio frequency spectrum by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) ICASA as part of the country’s efforts to fight the spread of Covid 19.
This is an important act of social solidarity because all our citizens should have access to empowering information which can be accessed through online and social media platforms.
We welcome the commitment made by operators over the past few weeks to supporting virtual learning and making Covid 19 information freely available in partnership with Government.
We are confident that ICASA’s decision will enable the operators to accelerate on the delivery of much needed communications services in times of crisis.
The issuing of this temporary spectrum is also an important test case ahead of the expected developments around spectrum later this year.
The ANC calls on all existing operators to promote the inclusion of the previously marginalized in ownership and operations
The ANC has long identified access to spectrum by more people, especially blacks, women and the youth as a game changer in transforming the sector and society in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The increase in the demand for data which is driven by the higher numbers of people working from home should provide a cushion for operators to be able explore possible relief measures for the poor.
As part of easing the communications burden, Government should also expedite the finalisation of the digital migration process which is also referred to as Digital Terrestrial Television.
The conclusion of this process will enable the country to allocate the in-demand spectrum in the 700MHz and 800 MHz bands to telecommunication operators which will also expedite the availability of communications services.
The different sectoral interventions are necessary to ease the burden on our people occasioned by the COVID19 pandemic.
We urge all South Africans once more to continue following regulations and precautions conveyed by Government to fight the COVID19 pandemic – importantly for all of us to continue Staying at Home in-order to Stay Safe, Protect and Defend Others
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
071 623 4975