OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON COMMUNICATIONS ON MEASURES TO REDUCE
INTERCONNECTION RATES IN
The Portfolio Committee on Communications, having received briefings on
2009 from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the
Competition Commission and the Department of Communications on measures that
can be taken to reduce the high cost of interconnection and call termination
i) interconnection rates in
ii) this is the consequence of apparent historical collusion between dominant mobile operators in the country - which has placed profits and greed above people - and the incapacity of ICASA to effectively regulate this matter;
iii) the high costs of mobile and fixed line telecommunications has impacted adversely on the South African economy and negatively on citizens, particularly the poor and marginalized; and
iv) there is unanimity in industry, government, other relevant stakeholders and the regulatory authority that the present situation is socially indefensible and economically unjustifiable.
Resolves that the Committee holds public hearings on the 13th and 14th of October 2009 on the following proposals:
1) mobile and telecoms operators drop the interconnection rates with effect from 1 November 2009 to 60 cents per minute during peak times;
2) interconnection rates be further reduced by 15 cents annually on the 1 November for each successive year until 2012; and
3) as a general rule the progressive reductions in interconnection rates between 2009 and 2012 should yield concomitant reductions in the actual consumer (retail) prices of telecommunications.
Further resolves that:
i) the Minister of Communications finalises the performance management system of ICASA Councillors as embodied in the ICASA Act (No 4 of 1999) and the Department of Communications should report on the matter to the Portfolio Committee by the 30 November 2009; and
ii) ICASA should act professionally, effectively
and boldly to regulate interconnection rates in
The Committee declares that it is willing to introduce in the next session of Parliament, a Committee Bill to amend the Electronic Communications Act (No 36 of 2005) so as to enable ICASA to act swiftly in this matter.
Report to be considered.