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South Africa: Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Presents ICT Policy Review to Committee
Source: IT Web News
Source Date: Monday, July 06, 2015
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: South Africa
Created: Jul 06, 2015

"The final recommendations report is the latest document in the process towards creating a cross-cutting policy framework that leads to the realisation of the vision of a fully connected society, as stated in the National Development Plan. It was handed over to the minister in April 2015," says the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS).

"The report follows the framing paper that was published in April 2013, the green paper released in January 2014, and the discussion paper that was issued in November 2014."

The ministry and the DTPS are processing the report and will take recommended policy choices to Cabinet, paving the way for the finalisation of the national ICT white paper through Parliamentary processes this financial year.

"The ICT review process has been done following the Constitutional requirements and the Presidency's Policy Impact Assessment. We'll recommend policy choices that have the least disruption to personal lives and most impact on our people," says Cwele.

He adds one of the biggest challenges facing SA is universal access to affordable broadband services.

"Internationally, we have been rated as doing well in terms of developing ICT policies. Our challenges are around access to affordable broadband and utilisation. We must seek policies that promote competition in the market in a manner that makes broadband services affordable. We also need to find ways to train South Africans, especially the youth, to create content and applications to encourage ICT uptake and usage," says Cwele.

He notes government also needed to look at ways to facilitate the growth of the sector, focusing on research and development, innovation and manufacturing. A key consideration in this regard is how to fund small ICT businesses, because the most valuable asset in these companies is intellectual property and not a physical structure such as a factory.

Cwele says as more South Africans become digitally connected, measures need to be put in place to guarantee cyber security, data protection and privacy.


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