By Siphelele Dludla for IOL
South Africa’s spectrum auction will finally happen within the next month after more than a decade, as the government begins to embark on a widespread campaign to cut the red tape and improve the ease of doing business.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a sweeping review of economic policy and regulatory framework as part of the government’s efforts to implement structural reforms.
He said that the Independent Communications Authority of SA(Icasa) will be spearheading the rolling out of the spectrum to boost investment and create jobs.
Spectrum has been one of the major hurdles for investment in South Africa.
Delays in rolling out new spectrum auctions have been caused by fighting between Icasa and the Department of Communications.
“The auctioning of high-demand spectrum is expected in three weeks by Icasa. The auction is expected to reduce data costs,” Ramaphosa said.
“Icasa will facilitate the rapid development of broadband infrastructure. This will reduce the cost of digital communication.
“There are too many regulations in this country that are unduly complicated, costly and difficult to comply with. This prevents companies from growing and creating jobs.”
Ramaphosa said these reforms should ensure there was an agreement that fundamental reforms were needed to revive economic growth, address the immediate unemployment crisis and to create conditions for long-lasting development.
He said he would be accelerating far-reaching structural reforms to reduce the cost of doing business, increase competitiveness and heighten economic growth.
“While structural reforms are necessary for us to revive economic growth, they are not enough on their own. This year, we are undertaking far-reaching measures to unleash the potential of small businesses, micro businesses and informal businesses,”he said.
Ramaphosa said the government would be dealing with the energy crisis by acquiring additional generation capacity, and fix the functioning of the ports.
To regulate all of these reforms, Cabinet approved amendments to the Electricity Regulation Act for public comment.