Some changes are coming for South Africans as the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies has entered into a performance agreement with the President.
This agreement outlines a number of targets which are needing to be met in the communications sector to help push South Africa into its better connected, fourth industrial revolution future.
Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has agreed to the new targets and published them for the public to see.
One of the goals which will please most South Africans is the reduction in the cost of data. This issue has been ongoing and despite rulings attempting to control the prices charged by companies, still continue to be significantly more expensive than our neighbours.
The 80% requirement for internet access is also a positive goal, as South Africa aims to become more digital focused. More resources online but no improvement in internet access would result in parts of the population being left behind.
The full list of goals include:
- 80% of the population must have access to the internet by 2024;
- Policy direction in relation to 5G must be issued by December 2021;
- A reduction in the cost of data must be achieved;
- Monitoring of Icasa and ensuring that the regulator is adequately resourced to license 4G spectrum;
- Repositioning of the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) to drive the use of local technologies;
- Completion of decoder rollout and switching-off analogue transmitters for the Broadcasting Digital Migration project by 2021, and rearranging of spectrum radio frequencies.