Deepening Democracy through Access to Information
Home / Press Office / ENS RSS ← Back

Email this article

separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses

Sponsored by


Article Enquiry

Coronavirus lockdown essential services: technology, media and telecommunications


Embed Video

Coronavirus lockdown essential services: technology, media and telecommunications

Coronavirus lockdown essential services: technology, media and telecommunications

27th March 2020


Font size: -+

In stark contrast to earlier media reports as to what would constitute “essential services”, the Regulations published in terms of the impending Coronavirus lockdown are far from clear and explicit when it comes to ICT, including datacentres, fibre optic infrastructure, towers and antennae. 

Earlier media reports also appeared to provide clarity around what would constitute “enabling services”, and these initially included:

  • call centres providing life and health; energy, food and water supply, social, transactional, communications, law and order and international critical business continuity services;
  • professional and artisan services, to the extent that they are providing support in the Covid-19 response, essential and critical business continuity services;
  • hotels, airlines, stadiums, car rental services, to the extent that they are supporting essential or critical business continuity services;
  • communication and media services on screen, TV, radio, print, broadcast and online; and
  • safety and security services protecting people and property.

Unfortunately, the Regulations do not provide such level of clarity and this has naturally created much uncertainty, especially in the ICT sector.

From an ICT perspective, the Regulations are explicit only on the following as constituting essential services or goods:

  • Newspaper, broadcasting and telecommunications infrastructure and services; and
  • Basic goods, including airtime.

Even with this clarity, it is still open to interpretation whether, for example, data centres are included in the ambit of telecommunications infrastructure and services. Further, having regard to the 27 other categories of essential services as well as the other categories of essential goods, in a world driven by IT, it can be argued that it is implicit that any ICT infrastructure, services and goods required for essential services to be rendered and for essential goods to be produced will fall within the category of essential goods and services. This is unfortunately open to interpretation as it is not explicit, and a case-by-case assessment would need to be undertaken by businesses.

For more assistance on whether your ICT or media business constitutes an essential service, please contact: Ridwaan Boda – or Wilmari Strachan –

Written by Ridwaan Boda, Technology, Media and Telecommunications, Director; Wilmari Strachan, Technology, Media and Telecommunications, Director; ENSafrica


To subscribe email or click here
To advertise email or click here

Comment Guidelines

About is a product of Creamer Media.

Other Creamer Media Products include:
Engineering News
Mining Weekly
Research Channel Africa

Read more


We offer a variety of subscriptions to our Magazine, Website, PDF Reports and our photo library.

Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store.

View store


Advertising on is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Email

View options
Free daily email newsletter Register Now