Yunus Carrim. CC image courtesy of GovernmentZA on Flickr.
South Africa’s Department of Communications (DoC) hosted a broadband policy workshop in Pretoria last week, which featured a range of experts commenting on the latest draft of the department’s broadband policy and plan.
HumanIPO reported last week on the broadband policy workshop which was hosted by Yunus Carrim, the minister of communications. The draft policy, initially gazetted in April, was taken to public consultation for a second time this year.
Carrim said the broadband policy, called “South Africa Connect” is aimed at ensuring broadband benefits reach all South Africans.
At the workshop, Carrim urged participants to robustly engage with the draft, which he is set to present to the Strategic Integrated Project 15 of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission, and is to consult further with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and representatives of the country’s provinces, before it is presented to cabinet.
“We are hoping to do all of this by the last Cabinet meeting in the first week of December. If the policy is not approved, we will consider releasing a version of it in the public domain for further consideration,” said Carrim.
Carrim said during next month, international experts will attend a workshop in which they will respond to the DoC’s broadband policy and plan.
“The current version of the broadband policy is an improvement on the April version, thanks to the contribution many of you made. We may not have a perfect policy by early December, but we hope, with your cooperation, to have a good one,” said Carrim.
He said further: “Obviously, with constant changes in technology, the policy and progress on its implementation will have to be reviewed and monitored annually.”
According to Carrim, the policy is in line with the National Development Plan’s (NDP’s) ICT vision, which encompasses the utilisation of universal broadband in order to ensure development, increase in growth and job creation in an inclusive manner.
Four strategic areas have been identified by the policy. These include digital readiness, digital development, digital opportunity and digital future.
“This policy will be pursued as a national project that will seek to galvanise the full capabilities, resources, and energies of public and private actors towards realising a bold vision of a connected society to some extent in the spirit in which South Africa delivered on the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” said Carrim.