by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE recent auction of the radio frequency spectrum will bridge the digital divide and a catalyst for the digital development and growth of the South African economy.
This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa following the conclusion of the auction by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), which fetched over R14 billion (US$939,2 million).
It is anticipated this will pave way for the rollout of high-speed 5G internet and cheaper connectivity.
“This is a significant milestone in our reform agenda, which will, as we have said before, drive growth and transformation in our economy,” Ramaphosa said.
The president wrote in his weekly letter, made available on Tuesday.
He said the licensing of spectrum is one of the major reforms to modernise and transform key network industries such as energy, telecommunications, transport and water provision.
“We are determined that South Africa must not be left behind by the digital economy, just as we are determined that no community and no person should be left behind in experiencing the vast benefits of being digitally connected to the world.”
The president noted the delays in the auction of spectrum was caused by the policy drift, state incapacity and corruption.
“The fact that we have now completed this process reflects the determination of this administration to undertake – and accelerate – the far-reaching reforms that our economy needs to grow and create jobs.”
The availability of spectrum is anticipated to speed the government’s digital migration plan.
“Over the last year, the process of switching from analogue to digital broadcasting has gathered pace and will soon be completed,” Ramaphosa said.
– CAJ News