Members were briefed on the structure of the International Telecommunications Union. The highest body was the Plenipotentiary Conference, which met every four years. There were various outcomes from the conference held in
Members expressed their concern over cyber crime. Countries had been crippled by hacking activities. Children needed to be protected.
Members were briefed on a course being presented at the University of the
The Committee adopted a report on the outcomes of the 2006 conference in
Presentation by Department of Communication (DOC)
Mr Jim Paterson, DOC Director: International Affairs (Multilateral), said that some issues had been covered in a previous presentation. He explained the purposes of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The highest decision-making body of the ITU was the Plenipotentiary Conference. Agreements were binding on members and had to be ratified by the respective governments. Conferences were held every four years. An Executive Council met more regularly. There were three sectors, namely Radio Communications, Development and Standardisation. The next conference of the Radio Communications Development sector was due to take place in 2012. Topics on the agenda included the allocation of different frequencies within the radio frequency spectrum. There would be a lot of negotiation due to possible interference with neighbouring countries. Finally there was a General Secretariat, which was an elected structure.
Mr Paterson gave an outline of the role of the Plenipotentiary Conference.
Mr Paterson said that several of the countries had still not ratified the treaty by the time the 2010 conference had been held. One of the key issues dealt with in 2006 in
Mr Paterson said that another major area for discussion was internet governance. The internet did not belong to any one country or bloc. It remained in private sector hands. There was a general move to increase the control of the ITU over the internet. The ITU was a democratic organisation and developing countries could hold considerable sway. The next issue was cyber security. People were becoming more reliant on integrated communication and technology (ICT). It was important to guarantee more protection to users. There was a move to strengthen the regional presence of the ITU. The effectiveness of regional offices was to be investigated. At the 2010 conference in
Mr Paterson said that the outcomes of the world summit on the information society were discussed. A resolution was passed on the status of
Mr Paterson said that
Mr Paterson said that there were 191 member states. At
Mr Paterson then outlined the focus of the
Mr Gift Buthelezi, DOC Deputy Director-General (DDG): International and Trade, said that
Mr Buthelezi said that it was very important for
Mr H Groenewald (DA,
Mr D Montshitsi (ANC,
Mr M Sibande (ANC,
The Chairperson said that critical issues had been raised at the previous meeting. She suggested that some form of workshop be arranged to inform the Members.
Mr Paterson could not remember how many people had attended the previous radio conference. Most of the people would be technical specialists briefed to deal with specific issues. Other players were people like the Civil Aviation Authority, South African Weather Services and other government and private bodies. The conference was as big as the Plenipotentiary Conference. The last meeting had lasted five weeks not including a regional conference held for a week before the main conference. The DOC would not exclude any person who could add value to the delegation, but the DOC would take the lead.
Mr Buthelezi said that
Mr Buthelezi said that the broadcasting digital management (BDM) was a process as daunting as the Y2K crisis.
Mr Buthelezi said that the problems with radio reception in the
Mr Sibande was not yet convinced. Some time ago a
Mr Groenewald asked who would be manufacturing the set-top boxes and what the price would be. He appreciated that some parts could not be manufactured in the country but local manufacturers should be used.
Mr Buthelezi said that the problems with unauthorised aircraft were actually with parking at airports rather than communications. Countries signed treaties as individual countries.
Mr Buthelezi said that a separate meeting would be needed on set-top boxes. The cost was likely to be between R800 and R900. Government would subsidise R500 to R600. The standard had been determined and manufactures would bid on that basis. The South African industry would be strengthened. The successful bidder would have to convince the DOC on the benefits to the whole country in terms of manufacture, distribution, installation and maintenance. It was one of the most controversial tenders issued by government.
Adoption of Report on Final Acts
The Chairperson asked Members if they were willing to adopt the report on the Final Acts. She read a proposal that the report be adopted and be presented to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). Mr Groenewald moved the proposal and Mr Sibande seconded the motion. The report read:
Report of the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises on the Final Acts of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference, Antalya, 2006, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, 1996, dated 23 February 2011:
The Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises, having considered the Final Acts of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference, Antalya, 2006, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, 1996, recommends that the Council approves the Final Acts of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference, Antalya, 2006.
Report to be considered.
Telecommunications Policy, Regulation and Management certificate
Mr Ebrahiem Hendricks, a telecommunications specialist from Telkom, introduced Prof Barendse, an expert in telecommunications, to talk about a certificate course in Telecommunications Policy, Regulation and Management that Members might be interested in attending.
Prof Andrew Barendse, Visiting Adjunct Professor: University of the
Prof Barendse said that the university also presented workshops that would be suitable for Members. The industry was growing, but not necessarily in the right areas. Various problem areas and growth opportunities were discussed.
Prof Barendse, in his capacity as a Telkom employee, also wanted to propose a site visit to Melkbosstrand. This was an area of strategic significance as this was the landing site for one of the submarine cables. There were submarine cables on both coasts. In fact, there was an optic fibre ring around
Mr Groenewald said that the advertisement for the course was good. He asked what the cost was.
Prof Barendse replied that the price of the certificate course was R20 000. There was an industry proposal that the course, transport and accommodation could be subsidised. The Portfolio Committee was attempting to have the course recognised internally which might save costs. The industry was really committed to empower Members of both Houses. He would send the Committee a written invitation.
The Chairperson was intrigued by the prospect. The Committee would discuss how to approach the invitation. She was looking forward to instructive workshops.
The meeting was adjourned.
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