n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - The new Independent Communications Authority of South Africa : its challenges and implications for telecommunications liberalisation in the country
|Article Title||The new Independent Communications Authority of South Africa : its challenges and implications for telecommunications liberalisation in the country|
|© Publisher:||UNISA Press|
|Journal||Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research|
|Publication Date||Jan 2000|
|Pages||28 - 36|
|Keyword(s)||University of South Africa|
Communication and information, thus telecommunications, are vital tools in today's economy. These tools are also the backbone of tomorrow's economy hence they need to be regulated properly by an independent regulator. This is true and necessary not only in South Africa, but globally as well. Liberalisation of the telecommunications industry is a policy direction of most countries worldwide. However, the process of changing from a highly regulated, or unregulated, to a liberalised one is not proving to be easy. This paper examines how the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) will impact on the regulation of South Africa's telecommunications industries in the era of liberalisation and convergence. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act No 13 of 2000, merges the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA), and is intended to regulate the multibillion-rand communications industry. The Proclamation by the South African President Thabo Mbeki of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act came into effect on May 11, 2000. A brief history of telecommunications liberalisation in South Africa is explored, and the paper also evaluates how ICASA should regulate for the promotion of growth and competition in the industry. The paper concludes that many challenges face ICASA, most importantly the fact that councillors of this new authority need to provide a balanced and stable communications regulatory environment for the South African broadcasting and telecommunications industries, in the wake of the recent problems that beset both the IBA and SATRA.
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