The Business Day newspaper today Friday 23 April 2010 published a factually incorrect and misleading article, reporting that Cabinet had decided to instruct ICASA to issue a second licence to Broadband Infraco (Pty) Ltd.
I wish to clarify that this is not an accurate reflection of what was contained in the Cabinet statement. The cabinet statement that was issued on Thursday 22 April 2010, states unequivocally that: “Cabinet approved the amendment of the policy direction to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to establish a licensing framework for Broadband Infraco (Pty) Ltd. The original policy direction to ICASA was issued in terms of Section 4 (1) of the Broadband Infraco Act instead of Section 3 (10) (A) of the Electronic Communications Act (36 of 2005). The direction will enable ICASA to accept and consider Broadband Infraco’s licensing application to provide electronic communications network services (ECNS).”
In response to a question, I stated categorically that this was a technical correction to ensure that the direction that had been issued to Icasa previously was issued in terms of the correct legislation. The transcript of the press conference is available on the GCIS website at www.gcis.gov.za.
Although I appreciate the journalists are human, presenting a personal interpretation as fact is however unacceptable. The newspaper will be asked to retract the article and state the correct facts to avoid further confusion.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)