Ramaphosa promises spectrum action
Newly-elected South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, gave his first state of the nation address (SONA) in Parliament this evening and stressed the importance of allocating spectrum.
He stated that the prosperity of South Africa depends on the country's ability to take full advantage rapid technological change.
"The fourth industrial revolution is upon us, some are even beginning to talk about the fifth industrial revolution, and this means that we urgently need to develop our capabilities in the areas of science, technology and innovation.
"And the drive towards the digital industrial revolution will be underpinned by the availability of efficient networks.
"We will finalise our engagements with the telecommunications industry and other stakeholders to ensure that the allocation of spectrum reduces barriers to entry, promotes competition and reduces the cost to consumers."
Mobile operators have been clamouring for spectrum for the last few years which they need to provide faster and more wide-spread high-speed data services.
Ramaphosa also spoke about the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope in the Karoo.
"Our SKA project where our scientists and our young people are just excelling beyond any imaginable limit is already demonstrating to all and sundry across the world that South Africa and South Africans are well attuned to innovation and technology.
"That is an area I would like to see us exploit, so that we can grow our economy."
Ramaphosa said a new Digital Industrial Revolution Commission will soon be established, this will include private sector and civil society, and he says it will: "Ensure that our country is in a position to seize the opportunities and manage the challenges of rapid advances in information and communication technology."