The Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services has elected a full-time Chairperson, Mr Jabu Mahlangu, following the redeployment of former Chairperson, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi, who became Minister of Energy, and then Minister of Communications.
Committee Member Ms Dikeledi Tsotetsi served as Acting Chairperson from April 2017.
Mr Mahlangu was a member of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture, and also served on the Ad Hoc Committee on the SABC Board Inquiry.
The Committee was also briefed by the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services on the cost to communicate and spectrum framework in South Africa.
According to Ms Mameetse Masemola, the Acting Deputy Director-General for ICT Development Branch in the department, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom charge the same amount for 100MB data. MTN is most expensive for 500GB, 1GB and 20GB and. Telkom is cheapest on 500GB, 1GB and 2GB data.
Mr Mahlangu expressed a concern about the high cost to communicate and accessibility in the rural areas, saying the department should consider other avenues, such as satellite, to speed up universal access.
“Access to ICT has great potential to increase the country’s gross domestic product, and end poverty and inequality,” said new Committee Chairperson Mr Mahlangu.
The Committee has welcomed efforts by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to initiate the review of End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations, in which it proposes that 1MB-50MB should expire after 10 days from the day of purchase, 50MB-500MB after 30 days, 500MB-1GB after 60 days and, 1GB-5GB after 90 days.
Issued by Parliamentary Communication Services on behalf of the Chairperson, Jabu Mahlangu