As Acting Minister of Communications & Digital Technologies, I have signed and gazetted directions on the Risk-Adjusted Strategy for the ICT sector. The gazetted directions allow, among other, electronic communication services and network services, advertising agencies, film and television production companies to resume operations.
Last month President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the COVID-19 Risk Adjusted Strategy that provides a framework for a responsive guide to the social, educational and economic activities which can be undertaken during the state of national disaster.
These Directions apply in addition to the existing restrictions and rules that are in place across all sectors and alert levels including COVID-19 health protocols and sanitation requirements.
The following sectors and sub-sectors are permitted to be operational under Alert Level 4:
- Electronic communications services and network services (telecommunications services and infrastructure).
- Manufacturing of telecommunications infrastructure including electronic communications facilities and end-user and subscriber equipment.
- Construction and related services such as telecommunications infrastructure, electronic communications facilities including the resumption of construction and fitting out of data centres currently being built.
- Wholesale and retail, including stores, spaza shops, e-Commerce and informal traders for the production and sale of airtime and data, online and physical retail sale, delivery, collection and replacement of ICT equipment, network equipment, end-user and subscriber equipment and ancillary equipment to support level 4 services as well as to facilitate work-from-home arrangements. Access to broadcasting including set-top-boxes, computers, mobile telephones and other home office equipment, including installation, maintenance and repair.
- Information and Communications Technology services for all private and business customers.
- Broadcasting services, online services, productions for local broadcast and live streaming, advertising agencies, film and television productions using local cast and crew are permitted to operate under alert level 4.
- Postal and courier services related to the transportation of medical products, ICT equipment and other end-user and subscriber equipment and to support other level services are also permitted under alert level 4.
- Financial services such as the provision of banking services by the South African Post Bank and payment of social grants by the South African Postbank, through the South African Post Office branches and other methods shall continue to be operational.
The gazette of these directions follows consultation with the sector and their plans on how they will mitigate the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19. The directions further include a monitoring and compliance approach that will be followed by sector regulators, industry representative bodies and through the department’s COVID-19 Project Management Office. The Directions came into effect on 02 May 2020.
I wish to thank the communications and digital technologies sector for their participation to date, and for the mitigation measures suggested, which will contribute to addressing and curbing the spread of COVID-19.
The full gazette is available on the department’s website.https://www.dtps.gov.za/.
Minister Jackson Mthembu – Acting Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies