n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - Information, communication and transformation : a South African perspective : conference / seminar paper

Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0250-0167



The growth of the South African information and communication technology (ICT) sector has been phenomenal in the past four years. Although the global ICT sector has suffered setbacks in the past few months because of the dramatic loss of technology stocks in world markets, South Africa's ICT is set to improve due to a still massive unmet demand for ICT services in the country. South Africa must seize the opportunity to leapfrog into an information society, while not repeating the mistakes of the developing economies. South Africa has opted for a managed liberalisation of the economy. The telecommunications sector is gradually being opened to competition while ensuring the optimum use of existing investments in the sector. This article argues that while liberalising telecommunications, it remains important that state assets such as Telkom, the telecommunications parastatal, should remain in the hands of the state in order to serve public interest. Wholesale privatisation of state assets is not the solution for South Africa, but to build global dreams needs global architects. Unless South Africa joins the global architects of the information society, the quality of life of its citizens will remain poor. This then makes privatisation a necessity as it brings huge revenue to state coffers in order to deliver much-needed services. This article also argues that the success of the implementation of South Africa's ICT policies relies mainly on the stability and viability of the sector regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).

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