Spectrum: Minister Supports ICASA's Stringent "Level-1 BEE" Requirement For Licence
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) now has a new regulation that mandates spectrum license applicants and other operators to be Level 1 BBBEE status compliant.
A Level 1 BBBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment) status essentially means that companies have very high, and verifiable involvement of black South Africas in terms of the ownership and management of their companies.
The South African Communications Minister said that the government is in full support of the new regulation by ICASA. According to the Minister, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, "they (ICASA) are asking that you meet the level one BBBEE status for the duration of your licence. That means if you have spectrum and the licence that you have is for ten years, for ten years we expect you to respect that black people of this country must be empowered and you must remain on that level BBBEE one status."
On possible pushback, the Minister cautions potential objectors, saying that: I won't be surprised if others would want to fight it, but I want people to be sure of one thing, we will stand with the regulator on this one because it is our responsibility to make sure the policies and regulations that we develop also serve the interest of the public. And for the first time, the regulator is clear that black people must be empowered."
Ndabeni further commented she intends on chairing a joint oversight forum that would oversee the implementation of this new regulatory framework and other initiatives.