South Africa merges telecom agencies

South Africa’s Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has announced the merger and reorganisation of various agencies under the ministry. With the merger, the current public provider of electronic communications network services to the country’s broadcasting and communications industry, Sentech, will join with the national and international provider of broadband connectivity parastatal Broadband Infraco to form a new infrastructure company. Domain name and film regulators will also merge with the communications regulator while the Universal Telecommunication Access Service Agency will be reorganised into a state-owned Digital Fund. 

South Africa is implementing a smart regulation policy with the aim of avoiding duplication of roles. With the increased dependence on digital services following the COVID-19 pandemic, the reorganised agencies have been tasked with ensuring that 80% of the population have access to the internet by 2024.