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South Africa: The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services to Bring Internet Services Closer to People
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Mar 14, 2018

Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said the ICT SMME Development Strategy is ambitious and aims to nurture entrepreneurs from the innovation stage through to access to markets.

“As the sector, we are already doing a lot to support ICT SMMEs but we work in an uncoordinated manner and we don’t follow through. The ICT SMME Development Strategy facilitates the introduction of Techlabs, which are essentially mini innovation hubs,” she said.

Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams and Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, led the department’s presentation to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on the work being done to reduce telecommunication costs and on the implementation of the ICT SMME Development Strategy.

The Minister welcomed the progress made by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) on the effective competition in the broadband market and the Competition Commission’s market inquiry into data services.

“These are necessary interventions but the turnaround is slow compared to the public demand and need,” Minister Cwele said.

ICASA is scheduled to release its findings by June 2018 which will indicate a list of markets that should be regulated and priority markets to be subjected to market reviews.

The Competition Commission is expected to release an interim report in April 2018 for public comment and a final report in August 2018.

Minister Cwele said the work of the Competition Commission will also assist to resolve the awarding of the transversal telecommunications contract to one service provider.

He said the award could be problematic because it could be viewed as government reinforcing the dominance of a single player while it should be encouraging competition. – SAnews.gov.za

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