Documents: Written Submissions

General Licence Fees Regulations

On 24 October 2008, the Authority published draft regulations in respect of General Licence Fees in Government Gazette 31542. The draft regulations are drafted in terms of section 4(1) (c)(iv-v) and 5(7)(a)(iii) of the Electronic Communications Act. (The EC Act).  The closing date for written submissions being 05 December 2008.

The draft general licence fees regulations gazetted by ICASA on 24 October 2008, if applied in their current form will handicap the financial viability of the broadcasting industry as a whole. For instance, the Authority proposes a leap frog from R30 000 in respect of amendment fees for sound broadcasting services to R250 000. The NAB is of the view that the proposed licence fees are prohibitive in nature, and pose as a barrier to entry

USAASA Definitions

On 15 August 2008, the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) published in government gazette number 31333, a discussion document in respect of the definitions of universal service, universal access and underserviced areas and the determination of needy persons. This was done in pursuance of the provisions of section 82(3) and section 88(2), (3) and (4) of the ECA.

NAB Submission on the Consumer Protection Bill

The Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI) introduced the Consumer Protection Bill ("the Bill") into Parliament on 05 May 2008. In terms of Government Gazette 31074, published on 19 May 2008, interested persons and institutions are welcome to submit written representations on the Bill to the Secretary of Parliament on or before 03 June 2008. The NAB made its written submission.

NAB Submission on the End User and Subscriber Service Charter

On 13 July 2007, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) published in Government Gazette number 30073, a notice of its intention to make regulations in respect of End-user and Subscriber Service Charters for Postal, Broadcasting, Electronic Communications Network Services and Electronic Communications Service Licensees (draft regulations). The closing date for written submissions was 24 August 2007. The NAB and a number of its members made written submissions.

NAB Sumbission on the Universal Serivce and Access Fund

ICASA poses questions and requires additional information from the NAB

On 12 to 14 March 2008, ICASA invited stakeholders to participate in oral hearings, at the ICASA offices, in respect of draft regulations to prescribe annual contributions of the licencee's licenced activity to the Universal Service and Access Fund. The draft regulations were promulgated in terms of section 89 read with section 95(1) and section 4 of the Electronic Communications Act (the EC Act), and section 4(3)(j) of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act (the ICASA Act)(the draft regulations. The NAB was scheduled to make its oral submission on 13 March 2008. During the hearings, the ICASA panel posed two questions, which came as a result of    issues the NAB raised in its oral submission. The NAB was requested to respond in writing within two weeks.

NAB Submission in respect Technical Standards for Electronic Telecommunications Equipment

On 7 February 2008 the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) published a General Notice (No 215 of 2008) in Government Gazette No 30753 (the Gazette). In terms of this notice, ICASA set out its intention to make regulations in respect of technical standards for electronic telecommunications equipment in terms of sections 35(1) and 36(1) of the Electronic Communications Act ("the ECA"), and inviting interested persons to submit comments by 6 March 2008. The NAB submitted its written submission.

Regulations to the Universal Service Fund (USF)

The NAB has a concern with the literal implementation of section 89 of the EC Act, which requires all licencees to make a contribution to the Universal Service Fund. Currently, broadcasting licencees are contributing to the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA).

Amendment of the Electronic Communications Act 36 of 2005

The Department of Communications together with the Portfolio Committee on Communictions published an Amendment Bill of the   Electronic Communications 36 of 2005. The object of the Bill was to amend the Electronic Communications Act, 2005, so as to empower the Minister to issue an additional policy direction; and to provide for matters connected therewith. The NAB submitted separate written representations to the DoC, and Parliament, as the due dates for submission were not the same.  Subsequently, the NAB participated in oral representations before the Portfolio Committee on Communicastions on 29 October 2007.  One of the key issues broadcasters objected to was the inclusion of the definition of "public entity" in the Bill.  Including the definition of public entity in the Amendment BIll would give unintended results, as the NAB believes it is not the intention of the DoC to have all entities listed under schedule 2 and 3 of the PFMA to be governed by the EC Act. 

Films and Publications Amendment Bill

The amendment process of the Films and Publications legislation has been on going for some time.  The Department of Home Affairs published the second draft of the Bill for public comments, which was followed by oral hearings before Select Committee on Social Services on 16 October 2007. The NAB’s concerns on the Bill still centered on the Constitutionality the Bill.  The NAB submitted its written submission, and participated in oral hearings before the Select Committee on Social Services.

General Terms and Conditions of Individual and Class Licences

On 30 August 2007, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (The Authority) published its intention to prescribe the general terms and conditions of the licences (the draft terms and conditions) in terms of Chapter 3 of the Electronic Communications Act 36 of 2005 (The EC Act), in Government Gazette 30246, Notice 1084. 



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