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Comment Sought on National Data and Cloud Policy

April 7, 2021

Department of Communications and Digital Technologies

A draft policy designed to ensure informed policy development based on data analytics and promote South Africa’s data sovereignty and security has been drawn up.

The communications and digital technologies department published the Draft National Data and Cloud Policy in Government Gazette 44411 for comment.

It was drafted in terms of the Electronic Communications Act.

The draft policy also aims to enable South Africans to realise the socio-economic value of data through the alignment of existing policies, legislation and regulations.

It also seeks to put in place a conducive and enabling environment for the data ecosystem to thrive.

Objectives include promoting connectivity and access to data and cloud services; removing regulatory barriers and enabling competition; ensuring implementation of effective cybersecurity privacy and data and cloud infrastructure protection measures; putting institutional mechanisms in place for the governance of data and cloud services; supporting the development of small, medium, and micro enterprises and providing for research, innovation, and human capital development.

The draft policy points out that, in order to unlock the value of data, there are “key policy issues that need to be addressed such as increasing the pool of collectable data, enhancing data analytic capacities, and promoting responsible decision making for growth and well-being”.

Policy issues include digital infrastructure; access to data and cloud services; data protection; cybersecurity measures; governance and institutional mechanisms; competition; skills and capacity development and research, innovation and related human capital development.

Comment is invited within 30 days of the date of publication.

Meanwhile, in Gazette 44391, the Independent Communications Authority announced that all annual radio frequency spectrum licence fees will be increased by 3.3% based on the average Consumer Price Index as from 1 April 2021.

Other notices include:

• Gazette 44392 – increase in administrative fees associated with applications and registrations relating to Service Licences by 3.3% – in effect on 1 April 2021;
• Gazette 44393 – increase in administrative fees associated with Type Approval by 3.3% – in effect on 1 April 2021.