Smartphone on wheels. Sashkin / Shutterstock.com
Smartphone on wheels. Sashkin / Shutterstock.com

South Africa’s communications watchdog has temporarily suspended all public hearings, the regulator said on Wednesday.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) said in a statement it was reviewing its day to day business to align itself accordingly in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

In view of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on Sunday, 15 March 2020, ICASA has activated the crisis management initiatives as required by the organisation’s Business Continuity Policy to ensure its preparedness to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following decisions have been taken in this regard:

  • All public hearings have been suspended; ICASA will continue to monitor and assess the situation in the four (4) weeks cycle;
  • All applications and equipment that accompany applications for type-approval will not be accepted from individuals. Applicants are therefore requested not to send any equipment to ICASA, when the need arises for equipment to be submitted, the applicant will be informed by an ICASA official to submit.
  •  Applicants can make use of our online service (https://online.icasa.org.za/) to submit type-approval applications.
  •  All other applications such as the expected pre-registrations for community broadcasting services have been extended from 31 March 2020 to 30 April 2020.

The regulator said it has taken the decision to suspend all forms of international and domestic travel from the 17 March 2020 – 17 April 2020.

All employees who have travelled and entered South Africa from high-risk countries since mid-February have been asked to present themselves for testing.

“We are cognisant of the fact that the spread of the virus will have an effect on our business. However, ICASA is in full support of government initiatives in curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic; but we will endeavour to adhere to our turn-around times as contemplated in our respective Divisional standard operating procedures. Any other delays will be communicated on time to our respective stakeholders”, says ICASA CEO, Willington Ngwepe.

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