n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - The South African telecommunications environment : a brief assessment of regulatory change : policy : research article




Communications play a critical role in transforming society. Governments as the custodians of communications therefore have a serious obligation to ensure that all the people of their country have access to basic telecommunications services. Access to basic communication services is a right because communications is an enabler of social interaction across time and geographic space, and a creator of economic development and prosperity for even the most dispersed populations. In South Africa, under apartheid, vast populations of people were excluded from this basic right of having access to communications, resulting in a serious backlog of basic communication services. One of the major objectives of the Afican National Congress (ANC) government when it came to power in 1994 was to ensure that communications were made available to all people even those in the most remote areas of South Africa. These objectives were constrained by a number of factors such as: telecommunications policy that favoured a monopolistic telecommunications environment. To re-engineer the South African telecommunications landscape, telecommunications policy has since 1994 evolved in a revolutionary way.


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