Government has amended regulations that prohibited telecommunications operators from porting customers’ numbers between networks and scrapped rules regarding the electronic tracking and tracing of individuals.
The regulations were introduced on 26 March by communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams under the Disaster Management Act as part of measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The minister is currently suspended for breaking the lockdown rules.
Acting communications minister Jackson Mthembu has now relaxed some of the restrictions. Specifically, operators and Internet service providers will no longer be required:
- To provide location-based services in collaboration with authorities to support government departments to assist and combat the spread of the virus; and
- Not to implement price increases and conduct mobile number portability.
A clause requiring the Post Office to make available its national address system and any applicable database to assist authorities to track and trace individuals that have been or might have been infected has, however, been retained.
The remainder of the regulations remain in force, including provisions related to the dissemination of “fake news”. — © 2020 NewsCentral Media