Full review of SA’s ICT policies on the cards

Communications minister Dina Pule will host a national information and communications technology (ICT) policy colloquium later this month to review all of government’s policies governing the sector since 1994.

Communications minister Dina Pule

Communications minister Dina Pule will host a national information and communications technology (ICT) policy colloquium later this month to review all of government’s policies governing the sector since 1994. It is being billed as the first comprehensive review of government ICT policy since the ANC took office in 1994.

The colloquium will be held at Gallagher Estate in Midrand on 19 and 20 April and is meant as the start of a process of reviewing all of government’s ICT policies.

News of the planned event comes just days after a new World Economic Forum report was published showing SA is performing particularly poorly as a connected nation, ranking behind Tunisia and Mauritius in Africa and placing 72nd in the world.

“The colloquium will also be a platform for all roleplayers to collectively develop policies that will build a world-class and competitive ICT industry in SA, which will create employment opportunities and increase access to ICT services as well as universal access and to boost the country’s technology capabilities, research, development and innovation,” the department of communications says in a statement.

The two-day colloquium will feature 10 “commissions” chaired by “ICT sector experts”. The panels are policy and regulation in broadcasting; policy and regulation in IT; policy and regulation in telecommunications; policy and regulation in postal services and the potential for ICT in this space; local digital content; digitising government; ICT investment; human capital; manufacturing; and convergence-based ICT solutions and services.

“It is the first time that the department is having a policy review of this magnitude since 1994, when the SA government adopted white papers on broadcasting, telecommunications and postal policies,” Pule says in the statement.

She says the forum will allow government to establish “how we can develop ICT policies that will benefit SA for the next 20 years”.

“The recommendations and decisions that come out of this colloquium will form a key component into the policy and development process for an integrated national ICT policy,” Pule says.  — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media

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