The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has published Regulations in terms of the ICASA Act and sections of the Electronic Communications Act.
The Regulations were published in Notice 238 in Government Gazette 43207 and are applicable to all authorisations, certificates, applications and registrations made and/or issued in terms of the Electronic Communications Act, the Broadcasting Act and the Postal Services Act.
The purpose of these Regulations is to prescribe minimum standards that licensees must adhere to only during the subsistence of the National State of Disaster relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minimum standards that shall apply during the National State of Disaster include:
- Complaints resolution: Licensees are exempt from the responsibility to resolve complaints received within the time frames prescribed by the Authority in its Regulations;
- Tariffs and fees: Any Radio Frequency Spectrum licence renewal fees which became due and payable on 31 March 2020, shall only become due and payable on 30 June 2020; and
- Submission of applications: The requirement for licencees and/or applicants to submit hard copies of applications for licences, authorisations and/or certificates is suspended.
Regulations relating to Type Approval as well as Access To Radio Frequency Spectrum are also outlined in the Notice.
The South African Post Office will be required to, upon written request, make available its national address system for the purposes of tracking and tracing persons that are infected with COVID-19, and/or persons that may have been in direct physical contact with such infected persons.
These Regulations came into force on the date of publication and will only endure until termination of the National State of Disaster.