Private Bag X23
Tel: 00 27 12 394 3200
Fax: 00 27 12 394 4332
The Competition Commission is a statutory body constituted by the Competition Act (No. 89) of 1998.
The Competition Commissions role is to:
- investigate anti-competitive conduct;
- assess the impact of mergers and acquisitions on competition and take appropriate action;
- monitor competition levels and market transparency in the economy; and,
- identify impediments to competition and play an advocacy role in addressing them.
The Competition Commission must ‘co-ordinate and harmonise’ its actions with other regulatory bodies, including ICASA. It is an independent body and its decisions can be appealed to the Competition Tribunal and Competition Appeal Court, which were also created by the 1998 Competition Act.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATIONS (DoC)
Private Bag X860
Tel: 00 27 12 427 8000
Fax: 00 27 12 427 8026
The Department of Communications (DoC) is the public service arm of the Ministry of Communications (MoC) and is the policy-making body for the telecommunications, broadcasting and postal industries in South Africa. It administers eight 'portfolio organisations', which are the operators and regulators in the industries it represents.
The functions of the DoC include:
- setting of broad government policy;
- appointment of boards of directors and chairs for the portfolio organizations and approval of their chief executive officers;
- approval of the portfolio organisations' budgets, business plans and tariff and licence fees (where applicable);
- recommendation of budgets to parliament; and,
- approval of joint ventures, mergers and partnerships.
The Minister of Communications has a specific role in the award of certain types of telecommunications licences: public switched telecommunications services (PSTS), mobile services, national long-distance and international services. These licences may not be issued or applied for without a prior public invitation by the minister and can only be awarded by the minister, although ICASA is authorised to evaluate the applications and make recommendations to the minister.
INDEPENDENT COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY OF SOUTH AFRICA (ICASA)
Private Bag X10002
Tel: 00 27 11 321 8200
Fax: 00 27 11 444 1919
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) regulates the South African telecommunications and broadcasting sectors. It was set up by ICASA Act No. 13 of 2000 and derives its mandate from this act and three other statutes: the Independent Broadcasting Act of 1993, the Broadcasting Act of 1999 and the Telecommunications Act No. 103 of 1996. The creation of the ICASA in July 2000 resulted in the merger of the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA) and the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA). Although ICASA is the primary regulatory and licensing authority in South Africa, the Ministry of Communications is charged with developing policy and has the final power to issue certain licences, for which ICASA will make recommendations. ICASA’s powers and duties have been further enhanced following the passage of the Electronic Communications Act of 2005 (Act No. 36 of 2005).
The functions of ICASA are to:
- make regulations and policies to govern broadcasting and telecommunications;
- issue licenses to providers of telecommunications services and broadcasters (except for certain licenses that must be awarded by the minister of communications);
- monitor the environment and enforce compliance with rules, regulations and policies;
- hear and make decisions on disputes and complaints;
- plan, control and manage the frequency spectrum; and,
- protect consumers from unfair business practices, poor quality services and harmful or inferior products.
WIRELESS ACCESS PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION (WAPA)
Postnet Suite 410
Private Bag X4
Tel: 00 27 82 458 1656
Fax: 00 27 86 587 0837
Wireless Access Providers’ Association (WAPA), established in 2006, is a non-profit IRB (industry representative body) acting as a collective voice for independent wireless operators in South Africa.
WAPA’s primary objective is to ensure the sustainability of the wireless access services market, and facilitates self-regulation of the outdoor fixed wireless and indoor nomadic wireless industries. WAPA is positioned to be an interface between the government regulator (ICASA), network operators, service providers and consumers.
INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION (ISPA)
PO Box 518
Tel: 27 010 500 1200
Fax: 086 606 4066
The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) is a South African Internet industry body not for gain. ISPA is a voluntary organisation, representing the interests of its members. ISPA regularly produces advisories for its members on important issues, such as licensing and wireless Internet access. Members of the association also have access to ISPA’s regulatory advisors, who are more than willing to assist with regulatory queries and questions.