South African telecoms operators form new industry association

Largest SA telecoms operators launch new industry association

South Africa’s largest telecommunications operators have come together to launch the Association of Communications and Technology (ACT), that will be tasked with looking after their interests and work with government and regulators.

The founding members of the association include Cell C, Rain, Telkom, Vodacom, MTN and Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

The ACT was launched at an industry event in Johannesburg where South Africa’s communications minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni was a keynote speaker.

The association will be headed by Nomvuyiso Batyi, a former councillor at the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa. She also previously served as the special advisor to former communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub will chair the association.

“The formation of this association will assist the network operators in reducing fragmentation in the industry and ensure that they provide a common message on industry-related matters,” Batyi said during the launch.

“The ICT sector creates job opportunities and economic participation in industries such as health, banking, financial institutions as well as education, making the role of a unified industry voice critical to aid the government in managing these sectors.”

Batyi also highlighted the fact that there were significant disparities relating to regulation in South Africa’s ICT policy. “We need to find solutions that are appropriate for South Africa and its citizens,” she said.

Batyi added that the industry must be proactive in ensuring that its policies and regulatory processes are responsive.