Stakeholders and interested parties have been given until the end of January to submit their views on the controversial Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Amendment Bill after an extension by Minister Dina Pule.
The extension was reported in the Government Gazette, after it was originally planned to close before Christmas.
The legislation proposes to change the way ICASA is regulated, but has been criticised by the opposition group, the Democratic Alliance (DA), and the SOS Coalition, a pressure group focused on the public broadcasting sector, for watering down the regulator’s power.
One element of the Amendment is to give parliament less say on the appointment of councillors to the authority. The Ministry will now consider recommendations rather than identify and interview candidates as it does now.
Pule was criticised in December by Marian Shinn, the DA’s Shadow Minister of Communications, for approving the appointment of Rubben Mohlaloga, who was charged in October with defrauding the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) to the tune of R6 million (US$690,000).