The mandate of the Department, derived from relevant Legislation, is as follows:
“To create a vibrant ICT Sector that ensures that all South Africans have access to affordable and accessible ICT services in order to advance socio-economic development goals and support of the African Agenda and contribute to building a better world”.
Consequently the core functions of the Department of Communications are:
To develop ICT policies and legislation that create conditions for an accelerated and shared growth of the South African economy, which positively impacts on the well being of all our people and is sustainable;
To ensure the development of robust, reliable and affordable ICT infrastructure that supports and enables the provision of a multiplicity of applications and services to meet the needs of the country and its people;
To strengthen the ICT Regulator, Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), to enable it to regulate the sector in the public interest and ensure growth and stability in the sector;
To enhance the capacity of, and exercise oversight over, State Owned Enterprises (SOE’s) as the delivery arms of government; and
To fulfil South Africa’s continental and international responsibilities in the ICT field.
The mandate of the Department of Communications is further embedded in legislation as well as other policy documents. The legislative framework for the work of the Department is contained mainly in the following:
Broadcasting Act (Act 4 of 1999);
Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (Act 25 of 2002);
Electronic Communications Act (Act 36 of 2006);
Former States Broadcasting Reorganisation Act (Act 91 of 1996);
Independent Broadcasting Authority Act (Act 153 of 1993);
Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act (Act 13 of 2000);
Sentech Act (Act 63 of 1996);
Telecommunications Act (Act 103 of 1996);
Post Office Act (Act 44 of 1958);
Postal Services Act (Act 124 of 1998); and
Telegraph Messages Protection Act (Act 44 of 1963)
In executing its role, the Department is also guided, amongst others, by:
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996)
Public Service Act, 1994 (Act 103 of 1994) as amended
Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act 1 of 1999) as amended.