Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has withdrawn the appointment of Newyear Ntuli as administrator of Usaasa, the government agency responsible for bridging the digital divide in South Africa, just seven days after she announced it.
The State IT Agency and Usaasa are to be run by administrators while they are restructured and their mandates reconfigured.
A process called “digital restacking” could take up to two years to complete, delaying the allocation of prime radio frequency spectrum to telecommunications operators to 2022.
Usaasa will complete the distribution of all manufactured set-top boxes, satellite dishes and aerials but not be involved in procuring any further devices for South Africa’s digital television migration project.
Fired members of the board of government’s universal service agency, who went to court earlier this month on an urgent basis to stop the implementation of a report by the public protector, have lost their legal challenge.
Members of Usaasa’s board, who were fired by telecommunications & postal services minister Siyabonga Cwele this week, have vowed to fight the decision to remove them, saying it was unlawful and unconstitutional.