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ICASA plans public hearings on BBBEE regulations

ITWEB.CO.ZA / 24 APRIL 2018 - 16.00 / PAULA GILBERT

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) will hold public hearings to discuss "the review and development of the authority position on historically disadvantaged persons and broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE)".

The notice was published in a Government Gazette yesterday and the public hearings will be held on 16 and 17 May in Sandton.

Public hearings on ICASA's position on historically disadvantaged persons and BBBEE will be held in May.

This after the authority last March published a discussion document on equity ownership by historically disadvantaged groups or individuals (HDGs or HDIs). This was the beginning of an inquiry to determine how the authority should approach the implementation the ICT sector code in light of the existing HDG/HDI ownership requirements.

ICASA was also looking for comment on how it can promote broad-based economic empowerment and equity ownership of HDGs, as required as part of the Electronic Communications Act, 2005 (ECA).

Submissions were due by 8 June 2017 and the public hearings will begin next month, after which the consultative process will conclude with the publication of a "findings document".

According to the programme, for the two days, those expected to attend include all the major telcos and a number of media houses and broadcasters as well as industry groups. Those on the list to present at the hearings include: Telkom, MTN, Vodacom, Cell C, Liquid Telecom, Internet Solutions, the Wireless Access Providers' Association, the Internet Service Providers' Association, Primedia, MNet, Kagiso Media, the South African Communications Forum, the National Association of Broadcasters, American CC, and the Business Carrier Coalition.

Last year, ICASA said the inquiry would consider, among other things, whether the minimum legislated requirement of 30% equity ownership by HDGs should be increased; whether licensees should be required to seek ICASA's prior approval in instances where a change in shareholding will result in a reduction of equity ownership by HDGs below 30%; whether ICASA should consider income levels and the size of the entity as criteria for differentiation in the imposition of HDG requirements; how the HDG equity ownership requirement should be applied to publicly traded entities; how compliance with the HDG requirements should be verified; and what constitutes ownership versus what constitutes control in terms of the ECA.

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LINK : https://www.itweb.co.za/content/JN1gPvO16oKMjL6m

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