Reinstated Ndabeni-Abrahams salutes outgoing ICASA councillors

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Minister of communications and digital technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Minister of communications and digital technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Communications and digital technologies minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams is considering the recommended list of names to join the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) council.

This is according to a statement issued by her department on Thursday morning, noting the minister will make an announcement in this regard in “due course”.

Ndabeni-Abrahams, who is back in office following her suspension, marked her return to office by thanking the four outgoing ICASA councillors for their contribution.

Wednesday marked theend of the term of office of Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, who acted as ICASA council chairperson from 25 March 2019, Botlenyana Mokhele, Peter Zimri and Paris Mashile.

In the statement, the minister says: “The contribution of these councillors to the sector is beyond questionable. They were at the forefront of shaping a regulator that plays a role in developing the sector as well as the digital economy.

“As we begin the countdown to the release of the high-demand spectrum, a resourced, stable and agile regulator is in our interest.”

ICASA CEO Willington Ngwepe also expressed gratitude to the outgoing councillors and thanked them for their guidance and leadership, and for providing the unequivocal strategic direction in the execution of ICASA mandate.

In particular, the councillors have played a critical role in turning around the performance of the organisation over the past four years, says Ngwepe.

“Whilst they leave the organisation at a critical time – when we are seized with some of the most seminal regulatory matters with far reaching and transformative socio-economic implications for our country including, inter alia, licensing of high demand spectrum and inquiry into mobile broadband services, we are grateful that their leadership and guidance have gotten us so far advanced in these processes.”

ICASA is looking to fill the six vacancies on the council.

This week, the National Assembly approved 10 names from which the minister of communications and digital technologies will appoint six as ICASA councillors.

The regulator says it has noted the latest development in terms of the process commenced by the National Assembly to fill the vacancies at council and is pleased with the expeditious manner in which the appointing authorities are dealing with the matter.

“In line with the provisions of Section 5(2) of the ICASA Act, the Council of ICASA has resolved that the position of Chairperson shall rotate between members of Council on a two months basis. To this end, all stakeholders are advised that advocate Dimakatso Qocha has been elected acting chairperson of the authority for the next two months commencing with effect from 11 June 2020.”

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