President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his maiden state-of-the-nation address, said government will soon establish a “digital industrial revolution commission” to ensure South Africa “is in a position to seize the opportunities and manage the challenges of rapid advances in information and communications technology”.
He said the country’s prosperity depends on its ability to take “full advantage of rapid technological change”.
“This means that we urgently need to develop our capabilities in the areas of science, technology and innovation,” he told parliament.
The planned commission, details of which will be announced “soon”, will include the private sector and civil society.
“The drive towards the digital industrial revolution will be underpinned by the availability of efficient networks,” Ramaphosa said.
“We will finalise our engagements with the telecommunications industry and other stakeholders to ensure that the allocation of spectrum reduces barriers to entry, promotes competition and reduces the cost to consumers.”
Government has been heavily criticised over the controversial Electronic Communications Amendment Bill, published late last year, which has raised the idea of taking away spectrum from the mobile operators and creating a wholesale open-access network, or Woan, for which most if not all new broadband spectrum will be reserved. — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media