Mothibi Ramusi takes oath of office as ICASA chairperson

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 22 Apr 2024
Mothibi Ramusi, chairperson of ICASA.
Mothibi Ramusi, chairperson of ICASA.

Councillor Mothibi Ramusi has been sworn in as the sixth chairperson of telecoms regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).

Ramusi took the oath of office today at ICASA's head office in Centurion, after communications minister Mondli Gungubele appointed him as chairperson of ICASA earlier this month.

In a media statement, the telecoms regulator says the ceremony was presided over by professor JCW van Rooyen SC, formerly acting judge of the High Court of South Africa.

During the ceremony, it says, the newly-appointed chairperson pledged to act with integrity, uphold the public interest and serve the people of South Africa in the provision of electronic communications, broadcasting and postal services, in line with the Constitution and ICASA Act.

Ramusi’s appointment followed his short-listing last year, with Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communication and Digital Technologies recommending two candidates for appointment to the council.

ICASA’s last permanent chairperson was Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, who left the regulator in June 2022.

Since then, the role has been occupied in an acting capacity, with councillors Dr Charley Lewis, Yolisa Kedama, Dikeledi Catherine Mushi and more recently Peter Zimri heading up the council.

ICASA says Ramusi brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise, with over three decades of experience in the ICT sector.

It says he will play a crucial role in advancing ICASA’s mandate to regulate the telecommunications, broadcasting and postal sectors in the public interest, promote competition and ensure universal access to communication infrastructure, services and content.

Zimri welcomed the newly-appointed chairperson, emphasising the significant role the appointment will play in advancing the authority’s mission of effective regulatory oversight in the sector.

“The council pledges to support and work together with the chairperson to address the dynamic challenges and opportunities in the rapidly-evolving ICT landscape, including broadcasting and postal services,” said Zimri.

Ramusi is a qualified electronic systems engineer. He holds a Bachelors degree (BEng) in Electronic Systems Engineering and various other formal qualifications.

Independent authority ICASA regulates SA’s telecoms, postal and broadcast industry. Its council is defined as its highest decision-making body, consisting of eight members and a chairperson.

Persons appointed to serve on the council are selected on the principles of transparency, openness and accountability, commitment to fairness and freedom of expression, according to ICASA.

Ramusi was CIO of the National Lotteries Commission, a role he occupied since May 2014. Prior to this, he was executive head of regulatory affairs at Cell C, from January 2011 to April 2014.

He was also special technical adviser to the minister of communications, from 2009 to 2010. His other roles include CEO of SMMT Online and divisional manager at Saab Grintek Technologies.

Ramusi also serves as co-chairperson of the Public Sector ICT Forum, which is a platform that provides public sector ICT decision-makers the opportunity to detail how they are digitally reinventing their organisations in order to stay ahead of digital transformation.

He will officially commence his five-year term on 2 May.