Marian Shinn, the DA’s shadow minister of telecommunications, has written to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting that a lawful consultation process, in terms of the ECA, be held on the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper.
“I am concerned that the process of developing legislation arising from the White Paper is irregular in terms of the Electronic Communications Act and is proceeding with reckless haste,” said Shinn.
“Its plans for a Wireless Open Access Network – the most controversial and potentially destructive aspect – was not subjected to public dialogue.”
Shinn said the first draft of the legislation will be presented to Cabinet by the end of March, and that telecommunications minister Siyabonga Cwele has told public forums there will be no discussion on the recommendations.
“The consultations on the White Paper that have taken place with the ICT sector since last October have been informal and not in compliance with the Electronic Communications Act,” she said.
“I fear that unless a lawful public participation process… is done, much of the legislation will be legally contested.”