More Africa NewsSouth Africa: ISPs campaign for reduction of Icasa’s powers over certain business decisions

August 23, 2021by myles0

Speed ​​in processing files is one of the criteria for assessing the level of ease of doing business in a country. In South Africa, Internet service providers denounce the slowness of the telecoms regulator and are considering actions to make it lose certain powers.  

The South African Association of Internet Service Providers (ISPA) calls for a reduction in the powers of the Independent Communications Authority (Icasa) over certain business decisions, including the transfer of licenses or the transfer of shares. Although it recognizes the important role of the telecoms regulator in the development of the national ICT and Telecoms sector, the Association deplores its slowness in dealing with this type of question. A situation that harms the interests of investors, deplores Dominic Cull, ISPA’s regulatory advisor.

 “  In practice, the parties can come to a trade deal, but then have to wait up to 180 working days for a regulator’s approval. This clearly goes against reasonable business practices and is an obstacle to the growth and transformation of the sector, discouraging investment and entry into the sector,  ”explains Dominic Cull.

South Africa is now home to more than 500 individual licensees authorized to deploy networks and provide Internet services. As a result, the number of commercial agreements between these different players has increased, according to data contained in the quarterly updates on mergers and acquisitions from the Competition Commission, a body which monitors the fairness of the entire market. South Africa, particularly in the ICT and Telecoms sector.

ISPA says it will lobby for any legislative changes that may be necessary to reduce Icasa’s role. While waiting for this option to materialize, it asks the telecoms regulator to consider in the meantime measures to reduce the time required to process applications for transfer of ownership or control of licenses.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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