[9 September 2019] National Treasury is calling for comment on a discussion document titled: “Economic transformation, inclusive growth, and competitiveness: Towards an Economic Strategy for South Africa”.
Comments may be sent to Rita.Coetzee@treasury.gov.za by 15 September 2019.
According to the accompanying media release, the paper “is an attempt to translate the broad outcomes of inclusive growth, economic transformation, and competitiveness into specific programmes and draw on a range of domestic and international literature to support these policy priorities”. One are of specific growth reform contemplated in the paper is electronic communications.
Treasury is proposing that:
- High-demand spectrum must be assigned through an auction with a small set-aside for a government-controlled network.
- Competition be allowed in Telkom’s infrastructure that connects the local exchange to residential homes and businesses to allow multiple providers access (i.e. local loop unbundling).
- Rapid deployment guidelines that accelerate the installation of telecoms infrastructure should be finalised – noting that this particularly challenging for smaller firms that lack the resources to cope with delays.
- Open-access conditions should be imposed to minimise unnecessary duplication of infrastructure.
- Economic regulation by ICASA should be independent of line departments and be directly funded from industry levies, as per international best practice.
- The state should leverage private-sector expertise in broadband roll-out, rather than relying exclusively on state-owned companies.