Communications minister Dina Pule has called for a complete overhaul of government policies governing the country’s broad information and communications (ICT) sector, with new legislation to be gazetted before the end of next year.
Pule was speaking at the department of communications’ ICT Colloquium in Midrand on Thursday.
“We can’t afford to have a piecemeal approach to policy review that would close loopholes in existing legislation but not lay the foundation of a prosperous and progressive future,” Pule says.
She says that in 2008, SA’s ICT sector contributed 4,3% to GDP, lower than the world average of 5,4%. “Clearly, this needs to improve.”
Pule says the final policy has to be “aligned to government’s developmental goals and address the challenges this industry faces”.
“We need this policy review to overhaul all the legislation in this sector … and help the country benefit from sustainable ICT development … for the next 20 years.”
Pule says the policy review has to remove aspects of legislation that are hindering economic development and growth. “We are committed to moving with speed in ensuring we conclude all the legislative and parliamentary requirements by the end of next year and start implementing these policies in 2014.”
She adds: “This review process has to lay down a marker and be a reference point for future generations.”
Pule says the policies that are created “need to be aligned to the developmental state that we are”. She says the biggest policy problem is in the area of broadband, where there is “policy uncertainty”.
“It is clear that more needs to be done with speed to propel our country into an advanced information society and knowledge economy,” Pule says. “We have prioritised the need to address policy environment to address current challenges and take us to the year 2030.”
The policy review process will also deal with the spectrum licensing framework, e-skills development and local content creation.
The colloquium continues until the end of the week. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media