Independent Communications Authority
13 December 2019
The review of price cap regulations for reserved postal services does not include an Inquiry.
The Independent Communications Authority (ICASA) clarified this in Government Gazette 42902.
ICASA published an erratum in respect of the notice of intention to review the regulations published on 23 August 2019.
“The Erratum seeks to clarify that the Review Process (Clause 4 of the Notice) is conducted in terms of regulation 10 of the Price Cap Regulations for Reserved Postal Services, 2013 (“Regulations”) and does not include an inquiry in terms of section 4B of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act, 2000 (Act No. 13 of 2000).”
A new paragraph 4 on the review process is inserted.
It deals with phase 1 (commencement of the review and publication of questionnaire); phase 2 (report in terms of regulation 10 of the regulations); phase 3 (draft regulations); phase 4 (public hearings on the draft regulations) and phase 5 (final regulations and the reasons document).
In Notice 650, ICASA has published a Discussion Document on the Review of the ICASA Must Carry Regulations.
ICASA is undertaking an Inquiry regarding the effectiveness of the regulations and whether there is a need to amend them.
The Discussion Document focuses on international benchmarking and key lessons for Must Carry Regulations in South Africa.
The Inquiry is designed to enable ICASA to reach a comprehensive and accurate conclusion on the effectiveness of the regulations and whether an amendment to the regulations is required.
In an earlier statement, ICASA indicated that the Inquiry is necessary so as to “reach a comprehensive and accurate conclusion on the effectiveness of these regulations and consequently decide whether the current Regulations require an amendment”.
The regulations provide that “a Subscription Broadcasting Service (SBS) Licensee is required to carry the television programmes of a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Licensee at no cost to the SBS Licensee”.
The SABC as the PBS licensee wants pay-television licensees to pay for the public broadcasting content.
ICASA holds the view that, although a decision to amend the regulations cannot be made at this stage, there is, nevertheless, a “need for further consultation and to conduct an Inquiry into the effectiveness of the regulations and possible review thereof”.
Written representations on the Discussion Document are invited until 6 March 2020.