Department of Communications and Digital Technologies
The ICT Sector Council will soon publish its sector code to provide for 50% target procurement from majority Black owned suppliers, an increase from 40% in the current code.
The communications and digital technologies minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, revealed this during the department’s 2021/22 Budget Vote Speech in parliament.
The minister also announced that a Digital Economy Master Plan has been drawn up and various stakeholders are being consulted in the development of the implementation plan.
The minister added that the implementation of the Master Plan will see the “achievement of economic contribution upwards to 4.5% of GDP per annum, creation of 1 million jobs over the next 10 years, create massive opportunities for SMMEs”.
Other developments highlighted include:
• Revisit the now obselete USAL policy with the aim to facilitate access to internet even in far remote areas – a policy and policy direction to be developed for ICASA to further develop relevant regulations to guide implementation;
• ICASA Draft Regulations on Mobile Broadband Services Inquiry – comment period extended to 28 May 2021 – plan to promulgate final Regulations by end of Q2 of current financial year;
• Publication of Draft Data and Cloud Policy – designed to enable South Africans to realise the socio-economic value of data through the alignment of existing policies, legislation and regulations, as well as ensuring that there is a conducive enabling environment for the data ecosystem to thrive through skills enablement and the establishment of a supportive regulatory environment;
• Sourcing of locally manufactured products a key priority – a number of products that can be locally produced have been identified including phones and accessories; manufacturing of components for infrastructure/5G network expansion; sensors and telematics which includes lidar, smart metres for water and electricity and other tracking applications; and satellites and drone components;
• Work under way with the DTIC to facilitate the establishment and operationalisation of an ICT Special Economic Zone – site for SEZ identified;
• Draft White Paper on Audio and Audiovisual Content Services Policy Framework: A New Vision for South Africa 2020 – public hearings underway to end on 14 June 2021 – the Draft White Paper focuses on the evolving audio and audiovisual content services landscape in South Africa; licence framework and thresholds for audio and audiovisual content services; public broadcasting in the new policy framework; content regulation of audio and audiovisual content services; support of domestic audio and audiovisual production and creative industries sector; ownership, plurality, competition and investment and developing human capital, digital skills and digital media literacy. It is designed to promote capital investment in the audio and audiovisual content industries and infrastructure; reposition the industry for further skills development; modernise the South African broadcasting landscape; ensure access to broadcasting services by all the citizens, including people with disabilities and strengthen the public broadcaster;
• South African Broadcasting Corporation SOC Ltd Bill to be finalised – to amend the Broadcasting Act of 1999 – ensure that the Public Broadcaster is aligned to terrain of PaaS (Platform as a Service) in development of digital content; enhance productivity and functionality of SABC in supporting people centred service delivery and support good governance.