Telecoms prices must come down: minister

The Minister of Communications, Yunus Carrim, today (23 April 2014) met with the Council of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), and urged all parties to work together to cut communications costs in the country.

Some of the issues discussed included the progress on the broadband value chain analysis study, as well as feedback on the Mobile Termination Rates and Regulatory Measures required to implement “SA Connect”, the country’s broadband policy.

The main item discussed was Icasa’s progress on the cost-study analysis on mobile termination rates since the court judgment last month, and the plan to meet the six-month deadline of 30 September 2014.

“We received a report from Icasa on progress and are reasonably satisfied. They requested more resources from us and we agreed in principle to give them appropriate support,” said Minister Yunus Carrim.

“We remain fully supportive of Icasa’s work on lowering the cost to communicate, without, of course, interfering in its independence,” said Minister Carrim.

“In fact, a major issue raised in the public hearings on the ICT Green Paper throughout the country has been the high cost to communicate. And, of course, the parliamentary committee is unanimous in its support for the Icasa regulations.”

“Clearly, the costs have to come down. It’s not just in the interests of the poor and disadvantaged but the economy as a whole. We urge the mobile operators to cooperate with Icasa in providing the necessary information and in other ways to ensure that this process is finalised expeditiously,” said Carrim.

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Telecoms prices must come down: minister