MTN South Africa is against the country’s communications watchdog taking a lead in regulating cybersecurity.
“It would not be appropriate for (the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) to take the lead in regulating cybersecurity since the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has initiated the Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill and is best placed to regulate such matters,” MTN SA said in a written response to the regulator.
Last year, the country’s communications watchdog published a Government Gazette containing a discussion document to solicit written submissions in respect of its role and responsibilities in the regulation of cybersecurity.
The closing date for submissions on the Discussion Document was 30 November 2018.
Now ICASA plans to hold public hearings to determine its role and responsibilities in relation to cybersecurity in the country.
The public hearings will be held from 17 to 18 January 2019.
ICASA, as a regulator in the ICT sector, at this point does not have the requisite capacity to play an active role in respect of cybersecurity, said MTN SA in a written response.
“Even though the authority will play a key role in cybersecurity initiatives, there has to be institutional improvements and various other changes that need to be made to ensure that the authority remains relevant in dealing with cybersecurity.”
MTN SA believes that ICASA must collaborate with other stakeholders and the ICT industry in particular to effectively manage cybersecurity.
The operator said this will entail ICASA developing awareness, skills and resources internally to manage cybersecurity risks and to advise the ICT industry as well as regulate appropriately within its mandate.
“MTN is aware of the real threats that is posed by cybercriminals. MTN is cognisant of the fact that more needs to be done to protect not itself from cybercriminals, but also protect its consumers,” said MTN SA.
“MTN commits to engaging with the authority to ensure that the authority’s best efforts and resources are deployed to ensure that its consumers are protected by any cyber related threats.”