President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed off on the commencement of portions of new legislation that allow for the creation of a Critical Infrastructure Council that’s meant to counter threats to key infrastructure in South Africa.
Infrastructure has been routinely attacked and vandalised in South Africa in recent years. It has become a scourge for country’s rail network, Eskom’s electricity grid, telecommunications networks and other economic infrastructure.
The sections of the act signed off by Ramaphosa will come into effect on 30 April.
The act aims to secure critical infrastructure against threats, ensure that information pertaining to security measures applicable to critical infrastructure remains confidential, and ensure public-private cooperation in the identification and protection of critical infrastructure.
The act, which does not apply to infrastructure under the control of the department of defence, sets out the functions and funding of the new Critical Infrastructure Council, and the remuneration of the council.
The council will be appointed by the public works & infrastructure minister, currently Patricia de Lille and will be made up of the secretary for the police service and officials at at least the level of chief director or equivalent, designated by each head of department for defence, home affairs, public works and other affected government departments. There will also be five members from the private sector and civil society.
The members of the council must preferably be qualified in fields that include infrastructure protection, engineering and disaster management.
Appointees must be South African and must have a valid security clearance certificate issued the State Security Agency. They must also not have served time in jail or have any personal interest in any critical infrastructure, directly or indirectly.
Once it is established, the council must implement a prescribed system for categorisation of critical infrastructure into low risk, medium risk and high risk. The council will meet quarterly.
The president’s decision to move ahead with the creation of the Critical Infrastructure Council comes in the same month that government published the National Infrastructure Plan 2050. — (c) 2022 NewsCentral Media