Sentech and Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Annual Reports

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09 November 2005
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


9 November 2005

: Mr M Lekgoro (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Sentech presentation
Sentech Annual Report [available at]
ICASA presentation
ICASA Annual Report
East Africa Submarine System (Eassy) cable consortium

Sentech and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa briefed the Committee on their annual reports. Both presentations dealt with the two entities’ achievements and challenges during 2004/2005 as well as their plans for the next financial year. Members were particularly concerned about the licensing of community radio stations and whether South Africa was prepared enough for the process of digitisation that both Sentech and ICASA were advocating. Concern was also raised about the fact that ICASA had failed to comply with certain regulations of the Public Finance Management Act. A member queried whether Sentech might be too dominant a power in the East Africa Submarine System cable consortium.

Sentech presentation
Dr Sebiletso Mokone-Matabane (Sentech CEO) briefed the Committee on Sentech’s 2004 commitments, multimedia business, broadcast network, financial status as well as its plans for the year ahead. One of its major commitments for 2004 had been to prepare the country for digitisation. It was also committed to its partnership with government with regard to education and health and the development of the second economy. In terms of its multimedia business, VStar was still the VSat service of choice. The company was committed to infrastructure projects such as the East Africa Submarine System (EASSy) and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope project. Sentech’s gross profit for 2005 was just under R200 million, showing an improvement on previous years. In the next financial year it would focus on fast tracking the digitisation of television networks and expanding the national broadband business. It would continue to focus on its social investment work as well as the development of the second economy.

ICASA Presentation
Ms Jackie Manche (Chief Executive Officer) briefed the Committee on ICASA’s strategic objectives, its achievements in 2004, international participation and litigation. As the independent regulator it was committed to the promotion of competition, affordable delivery of services as well as universal access. ICASA monitored the performance of broadcasters and investigated complaints against them. It was also responsible for the issuing of broadcasting licences. The Annual Report indicated 29 ongoing litigation matters, many stemming from unsuccessful licence applications.

Ms Bridget Mohlala (Chief Financial Officer) reported that ICASA had failed to comply with a number of Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) requirements. Corrective action was being taken. The organisation’s operating expenses came to about R145 million with an operating surplus of about R2 million.

Rev M Khumalo (ANC) requested ICASA to give clarity on the matter of the signing of cheques and on the irregularities that had been reported. He was also curious about how their tender process worked.

Ms B Mohlala replied that the PFMA required all departments to move to electronic payments. ICASA had not gone through that process so all services were still paid by cheque despite there being considerable risk in paying by cheque. ICASA had contravened PFMA regulations by not making electronic payments. Before moving to electronic payments it was necessary to look at the delegation framework. In the present framework a number of people were authorised to sign cheques. The electronic process would require only one person to handle it.

By the time the audit had been completed ICASA had already looked at the delegation framework and was trying to cascade those processes. It would find a bank that would be able to handle its payment processes. At the time of the audit the migration from cheque to electronic payments had already been started. This was an action item that ICASA was still addressing.

Due to the large number of cheques that had to be signed manually, human error did creep in. Five irregularities had been reported but none were fraudulent. ICASA did not have a service level agreement with their bank. It has now started a tendering process for a bank that would be able to meet its electronic needs. At the moment ICASA was trying to do away with checque payments for amounts greater than R2000.

Rev Khumalo asked how much progress had been made in the legal action that community radio stations such as ‘Good News’ and ‘Izunumzanzi’ had taken against ICASA. These two radio stations had reported that they had lost much money as they were unable to operate. The cases had been dragging on for four years. How much had ICASA spent on these cases?

The Chairperson asked how many community radio stations were unable to operate due to litigation and at what cost to ICASA? These radio stations kept communicating their frustration to the Committee despite the fact that there was very little it could do. Some had even resorted to writing ‘ugly letters’.

Mr Lumko Mtimde (ICASA Councillor) said that out of the number of applications that had been received there were about seven challenges to ICASA decisions. The Good News application had been dismissed but the court case was still ongoing. The process was out of ICASA’s hands. Other cases were also ongoing.

Mr R Pieterse (ANC) said that a four-year community radio licence had been offered previously. Those who did not receive the four-year licence had to continually reapply for shorter periods. This was not only costly but also made planning difficult. In addition it was difficult to secure funding for contracts shorter than four years. If people had a set date by which they had to apply, they could plan and approach funders. Those in and around urban areas mostly had access to these. No community radio stations were visible in rural areas. He had been assured that this policy was being reviewed so that all areas would be represented. When would the report be complete and available?

Mr Mtimde assured the Committee that ICASA had already made inroads with regard to making community licensing more representative. They had already reported on the process regarding the thirteen rural nodes identified in the Integrated Sustainable Development Programme and the Urban Renewal Programme. These applications were being considered. The policy framework regarding the licensing of community radio stations was also being reviewed. Once all the relevant processes had been finalised, ICASA would be able to announce the date by which applications should be received.

Ms Nadia Bulbulia (ICASA Councillor) added that one could not lose sight of the fact that often people applied for licences without any support, need or demand being demonstrated. Such applications would never be successful because they were not economically viable and funding was also not forthcoming. Only eight out of every hundred applications might be successful. ICASA over the past year had closely monitored community services and assisted where it could. It would work closely with other stakeholders to assist marginalised communities. She commented that digitisation could assist in the process, but that one also had to ask the hard questions. What would digitisation mean in terms of nation building and further polarising and diversifying the society. Were we creating Apartheid of the airwaves?

Mr Mtimde added that there may be three or four applications for digital frequency for a particular licensing area. Of these only one or two might serve the greater rural area. If the applicants met all the requirements a choice needed to be made. It was against this background that licences were granted. Often decisions were challenged but so far the rulings indicated that ICASA had been just in its allocation of licences. Stations could get a special grant licence (for 30 days). This would enable them to sustain the running of the station until a final ruling was made. He assured the Chairperson that a station whose application has been denied was advised of its other options. ICASA would report on litigation costs so far at a later stage.

Rev Khumalo asked whether apart from the review process, ICASA had an appeal process. Could a community radio station that has been turned down lodge an appeal internally before going to court and spending a lot of money?

Mr Mtimde responded that in terms of the current law there was no such process but the review process allowed fair consideration guided by the Independent Broadcasting Act. ICASA’s final ruling could only be challenged in a court of law.

Mr Paris Mashile (ICASA Chairperson) added that the whole idea was to have a fair democratic process. ICASA was committed to fairness. It looked at the facts objectively. It was transparent and consistent in all its decisions. All rulings were subject to appeal.

Ms Smuts added that once digitisation was complete, fighting over frequency would be a thing of the past. There were so many interest groups who validly wanted to have community radio stations. She commented on Councillor Bulbulia’s statement saying that the airwaves were not there for the government to shape the national consciousness. It was there for the people.

Ms Bulbulia responded that this was an issue mainly around language and that these were hard questions that needed to be asked. The complexity she was referring to was that in South Africa people were speaking a range of languages. Were we going to have a service for each language?

Mr G Oliphant (ANC) asked how big ICASA’s legal department was. How well resourced was it? ICASA had described the industry they were in as ‘litigious’. Was there any real commitment on the part of ICASA to resolve its legal issues particularly with community radio stations? Could it be that ICASA’s way of dealing with these cases was to leave them to the court to resolve?

Mr Mtimde replied that ICASA was concerned with more than just abiding by the law. The court’s rulings in some of these cases had confirmed this. ICASA could not act outside the confines of the law. If it did that would bring about another challenge that the regulator would lose.

Ms Manche added that ICASA’s legal department was not well resourced. Its budget was not more than R3 million. This limited the organisation’s ability to procure some of the best legal experts. This has been raised as an issue in its submission to Treasury with regard to future funding. Considering the changes in legislation, it would be necessary for ICASA to get more funding and to ‘beef up’ its legal department.

Ms Smuts said that the Committee had been asking for a long time where the digitalisation policy was. The Digital Advisory Body reported on this years before. The Department of Education had indicated that implementation would start in 2007. She was delighted that there were processes in place now. Could the Committee have greater elaboration on this process?

Mr Pieterse said that the previous day he had raised a question regarding the ‘Footprint of SABC’. He was aware that Sentech rolled out services as per the requests of the broadcasters. How many tenders had been done and at what cost? He commented that there was always talk of the huge cost involved but figures were never given. Telkom always explained that the ‘last mile’ of a project made it difficult to attach figures. Was Sentech experiencing the same ‘last mile syndrome’ from which Telkom appeared to be suffering?

Dr Mokone–Matabane said that that it was difficult to respond to questions around how much the expansion of the SABC footprint would cost. The broadcasters had to tell Sentech where they wanted to go. If some of the necessary infrastructure was already in place in a particular area, the cost would not be that high. Expense was also based on power and the energy costs associated with that. Digital transmitters would require less power. For example, with a 2 kw digital transmitter one could cover a greater area than with a 10 kw analog transmitter. There were residual benefits for the broadcasters since a part of the tariff was based on what Sentech had to spend on energy. SABC’s expansion should thus not be looked at in isolation but in conjunction with digitisation. With SABC there were three channels, when in a digital environment there would be eighteen. This gave mass operators the opportunity to allow other broadcasters to ‘come to the party’. Where to expand to was really a decision the broadcaster made.

Mr Pieterse pointed out that the East Africa Submarine System (EASSy), the undersea cable consortium Sentech was involved in seemed like a good idea. How could the Committee be sure that Sentech would not ‘do a Telkom’ to it? What measures could the Committee take now to ensure that Sentech would not demand exclusive access? What could the Committee do to ensure that the company would not abuse its position of dominance? The Chairperson pointed out that such measures had already been taken.

Dr Mokone–Matabane said that currently a licenced operator could request to join the EASSy consortium. Nepad ideals were embodied in EASSy. The essential idea was that it should be sustainable. There were concerns about whether it would be a network infrastructure that was affordable to all. Looking at making connectivity affordable there were not many ideas. Telkom was pushing for the same model as SAT3 but companies like Sentech and MTN as well as companies in Botswana and Uganda said that they had experience with SAT3. Nigeria said that because Telkom controlled a half circuit it was expensive. Operators were feeling the pinch of the ownership and management that was used for SAT3. A meeting of government representatives had been held to discuss the infrastructure requirements for the continent. Governments should take greater accountability and responsibility over the terms of reference of EASSy so that it did not share the same fate as SAT3. Governments wanted to ensure that it was open and sustainable.

Mr K Khumalo (ANC) said that although both the ICASA Chief Executive Officer and Board Chairperson were new, ICASA had managed to produce a very good report. He said that there was a perception that ICASA’s independence was being threatened by the Committee, Government or the Minister. How was ICASA perceived? The current council had a responsibility to guide the industry, the ICASA employees as well as its management. Once the Committee gave direction in terms of the new licensing framework, the new Convergence Bill and the ICASA Act, all stakeholders should be able to move in the same direction. This was crucial. Mr Khumalo said that he was raising these questions in terms of certain issues: the African Union Declaration of Freedom of Expression (central to this was the existence of an independent regulator that was able to operate freely) as well as the fact that the regulator should give direction in terms of justice, fairness and freedom of expression. He raised these issues so that it could be ensured that ICASA was not being influenced by political or commercial interests. Councillors should ensure that this was not the case. Further discussion would be necessary on how the independent regulator was perceived.

Mr Khumalo also commented on the Auditor General’s comment regarding ICASA’s compliance. He said that he would be pleased if ICASA could comply in terms of the PFMA and Supply Chain Management as the Auditor General had raised these issues. Why did ICASA not comply?

Ms Mohlala said that ICASA had realised that it was at an intermittent stage which was why it did not comply. A plan of action was put forward. When the auditors came in March certain elements of the supply chain had already been in place. ICASA was not yet fully compliant with the whole Supply Chain Management process. Its compliance would be a phased process. Although the process had started it had not yet been completed at the end of 31 March 2005. ICASA was working with National Treasury to achieve compliance. Ms Manche added that ICASA was five years old and had had capacity constraints. When she took over the helm one of the challenges was that no one had even known what supply chain management was. All Treasury’s requests had never been responded to. The organisation then approached Treasury for guidance in becoming compliant.

Mr Khumalo said that it was important for ICASA to implement those things that were expected to be implemented. He would have had more questions had the previous Chairperson still been there. It would be unfair to raise these questions with the new members.

Ms D Smuts (DA) wondered what the relationship was like between Sentech and the Department of Public Enterprises. She raised this question since she would like to pursue the idea of shareholder management passing from the Department of Communications to the Department of Public Enterprises.

Dr Mokone–Matabane said that when Sentech had been struggling to expand and explain its activities, it had decided that it had to work with different government departments. It decided to focus on the economic cluster because during the policy debate this unit had been of key importance. Sentech had realised that when the different departments understood the role that the company could play in development it would be more likely to get their support. The relationship with the Department of Public Enterprise was important since it had links with all other Departments that had state-owned enterprises (SOEs) reporting to them.

Ms Smuts asked whether the EASSy cable would land in Mtunzini. The Southern Africa Far East (SAFE) cable landed there already. Would Sentech be sharing space? Was Mtunzini just the right space for landing stations?

Dr Mokone–Matabane said that SAT3 as it went along the western sea board ended at Mtunzini. Sentech wanted to connect the SAT3 and EASSy to create a loop so that there was no disconnect. With the experience that Sentech has it was expecting that government and the regulator would ask how EASSy would serve the interest of South Africans and how it would ensure that communications issues would be dealt with.

Regarding the Medium Term Expenditure Framework allocation, Ms Smuts wondered how much of the R9 billion Minister Manuel had referred to, would be allocated to Sentech?

Dr Mokone–Matabane replied that it had told Treasury that it would need a total of R600 million over three years, for digitisation. Sentech was working with the Department of Communications and Treasury on the final numbers. It still needed to get confirmation that it would get that entire amount.

In reply to Ms Smuts asking how much it would cost a single consumer to install a VSAT, Dr Mokane–Matabane said that the equipment cost would be anywhere from R12 000 - R15 000. In addition to that, there would be the bandwidth costs depending on how much bandwidth the consumer wanted. Sentech had a number of business and VSAT products which were scalable.

Ms Smuts asked whether ICASA would be in a position to cast light on what was going on with Telkom introducing filters on the SAIX (South African Internet Exchange) network. This had shut off the biggest Internet Service Provider, Internet Solutions (IS). She was aware that there was a traffic congestion problem, but routes had been set up to carry excess IS incoming traffic. Telkom had for a period of time put up filters which had literally blocked all of IS’s traffic. These filters had now apparently been taken away. Telkom had introduced the caps that Internet Service Providers were expected to impose on their customers. They have apparently made a new ruling under which customers would be cut off if they exceeded their caps. Their only recourse would then be to go back to dial up internet access or to take out an additional internet access account. Her ISP had informed her that this would cost an additional R99.00. Could ICASA cast any light on this? If not the issue could be picked up with them at a later stage.

Mr Paris Mashile (Chairperson ICASA Board) said that ICASA had received numerous complaints from consumers regarding ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line). Complaints were about poor quality of service. Perhaps Telkom had overestimated ADSL as a cure-all for its ills. There were certain distances over which ADSL would not be available; the data rate could only be available at certain distances; group impairment was also a problem; if not properly installed the equipment could also give problems. He said that there were many problems involved and that one could not necessarily point a finger at anyone.

It was important to look at what Telkom was promising and what it was actually delivering. ICASA’s hearings had led to a situation whereby it would hold Telkom’s feet to the fire forcing them to tell consumers exactly what the limitations of ADSL were. This way consumers would not be confused. ICASA was developing draft regulations that would make the matter clear. He said that the difference between facts and marketing should be noted. Marketing relied heavily on overselling products. If marketing costs were cut many of these products would be much less expensive. Unfortunately products would not sell if they were not marketed. ICASA would announce their findings regarding what the regulations should be. Telkom should come on board and provide a service level agreement indicating the limitations of ADSL. Consumers should know exactly what they were buying. ICASA was of the opinion that Telkom was very insensitive as far as the new pricing of ADSL was concerned. He has decided to discuss this issue with Telkom. ICASA had a responsibility to intervene on behalf of the consumer.

Ms Mamodupi Mohlala (ICASA Councillor) added that ICASA had come up with a detailed findings document based on the hearings they had held. An international comparison was done to see whether the cap fitted the kind of service that was being provided. Consumers were also concerned that the speeds that were being provided for ADSL were not broadband speeds, yet the service was being sold as a broadband service. ICASA had considered the different definitions of broadband. Although there was no single definition for what broadband speed was, there was agreement that certain speeds were narrow band speeds. ICASA was looking at coming up with a clear definition for broadband that would apply to all broadband operators across the board. The only limitation with regard to this was that there was no clear policy on broadband within South Africa. ICASA intended to make a proposal which it would discuss with the Department so that when it they did make regulations, it would fit in with the broader framework. It was also looking at publishing the number of users who could be expected to run on a network at any given time. This would give consumers an indication of when the busiest times would be and when they would best be able to access a service. This was not unique to South Africa. ICASA was in the process of completing the draft regulations. It was taking some time since the regulator was doing some investigations to ensure that when they put out the regulations, they would be on sound footing.

As far as the filters placed on SAIX blocking ISPs, Ms M Mohlahla said that complaints have been brought forward by Internet Solutions and ICASA was in the process of dealing with this issue.

Mr G Oliphant (ANC) asked how prepared South Africa was for the switch from an analog to a digital system. Sentech had reported that if the proposed legislation was approved this was an area that needed to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid issues such as dumping. What would be involved in this process?

Dr Mokane–Matabane replied that the framework was ready. As soon as funds were made available by Treasury, equipment would be ordered. Roll out would then follow. She said that it was important that the legislation be dealt with as soon as possible. Consumer protection was also an important consideration. The public needed to be educated around the digitisation process. The process could only be effective with the backing of some legislation.

Mr Mashile said that everyone would agree that technology was constantly changing. It was inevitable that those who did not adapt, would be left behind. Digitisation was ‘the name of the game’. The analogue system was out of date. He understood that multimedia could not occur without digitisation. Voice, video and data all came in one particular format and that was ones and zeros. During digitisation, information was transmitted as ones and zeros which promoted efficiency in delivery of service.

The only way of realising the ideal of equal representation of all of South Africa’s languages would be by going digital. There would then be one frequency in which would be imbedded all languages that would then operate simultaneously. Consumers would simply have to tune in to the appropriate frequency. This should be encouraged since this would be the way of the future.

What people could afford would also have to be taken into account. The biggest change would be to the set top box. If quite a number of people were involved, the economies of scale would result in a lower cost of this equipment. Given the lifestyle of South Africans, they would jump on this opportunity.

There were quite a few advantages to digitisation. The broadcasters were engaged in the matter of digital migration and they did express reservations, but he "whipped them into line" saying that competitors were needed. He agreed that regulation would have to be flexible to facilitate the entrance of new technologies. "We want to make South Africa an information society."

It was also necessary to look at essential services. SAT3 had prevented much investment for example due to the fact that it was very expensive. What would happen if the price of telecommunications was low? Jobs would be created, many investments would be made and there would be competition. All of these things were important considerations for ICASA. The meeting he had had with other regulators from across Africa addressed EASSy and problems experienced with SAT3. Those from Southern and Eastern Africa were experiencing the same kinds of problems in terms of telecommunication costs. The costs attached to telephones were doing much damage to the economy of the whole continent. The EASSy cable had to provide open network provision. This meant that all ITC services should be available and open. Prices should be fair; investors should have a fair return on their investments.

Mr Oliphant asked what kind of cooperation, involvement and coordination there was between the Department of Science and Technology, Sentech and ICASA to ensure that if South Africa did get the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) bid, it would be prepared for the process.

Dr Mokane–Matabane informed the Committee that when South Africa had decided to bid for the project, it had consulted with the relevant State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) regarding the contribution they would be able to make. Sentech had put its skills on the table and had announced the investment it was able to make.

Mr Mashile said that the SKA project was a truly national project that was of strategic importance. It could have huge spin-off benefits. If South Africa were to win the bid it could result in a $1,5 billion investment. This could create many jobs; it could begin to resuscitate industries, as well as research and development. The migration of engineers as well as professionals in science and technology might also be stemmed by this investment. Australia had declared that all the areas in which these telescopes would be deployed had to be radio free zones i.e. there could be no interference. This was a challenge. How was South Africa going to meet it? It would have to engage operators and ask them to spare some space. Companies should not ask what they would be losing from such an agreement but rather what South Africa would gain. The following week there would be a meeting with operators to try to get a commitment from them. He predicted that operators would call on the Act to support their rights and powers and to secure their financial advantage despite the losses it would mean for South Africa as a whole.

Mr Khumalo said that the Committee expected all national operators to adhere to the licensing requirements. The Committee was concerned about who would carry the capital costs. The Committee was supportive of SKA but not at the expense of the broader community.

The Chairperson commented on Sentech’s claim that its intervention would enable connectivity to the Home Affairs mobile vans. Services [such as provision of identity documents] that would normally be offered over the counter would then be able to be offered via the mobile offices. How far along was this development?

Dr Mokane–Matabane replied that the Department of Home Affairs had about ten vehicles for this service. They intended to expand. Sentech has provided VSat connectivity so that data would be delivered in real time, using the Internet.

Mr Oliphant asked how ready ICASA was for the passing of the new legislation in the form of the ICASA Amendment Bill.

It was noted that R1, 17 million had been allocated for dealing with the transition.

Ms Manche added that the Department had been approached regarding ICASA’s funding during the drafting of the ICASA Amendment Bill. The organisation had made a proposal based on a thorough analysis of how other regulators in other countries were funded. This survey revealed that ICASA was under funded. She asked, given the landscape ICASA had to operate in, if it was realistic to expect that its budget should only be increased by the regular 10% over the next three years. Would the organisation be able to deliver on its mandate? Despite the organisation’s strong support for its proposal it was denied by the Executive. She appreciated that Treasury had conflicting demands from a number of government departments and institutions as well as international commitments which it had to juggle. ICASA had asked for an additional R177 million for the next year. She doubted whether this request would be granted. They might be able to get R50 million over the baseline so that they could begin to implement legislation and beef up the capacity of the organisation.

Mr K Khumalo commented that the annual reports were very good in terms of speaking about the strategic objectives but failed to point out the challenges, such as dismissals, that had been faced throughout the year. He had thought that the implications regarding capacity, that were attached to the future expansion of capacity, would be reflected in the report.

Ms Manche pointed out that the Annual Report did mention some of the challenges facing ICASA. She referred the Committee to some of the dismissals mentioned in the report such as a staff member who had been found guilty of fraud and dismissed. She also made special mention of the Tsotetsi v ICASA case. The Labour Court had dismissed, with costs, ICASA’s review application. The organisation would in the next financial year report what the cost of this case was.

ICASA had been successful particularly in the fraud cases. With the establishment of an internal audit function, the organisation would be a lot more rigorous in its auditing and controls and would more easily pick up fraud cases. The establishment of a much more systematic labour relations unit would be more systematic in dealing with challenges such as fraud. She added that the issue of cheques was very risky. ICASA had very swiftly started looking for a new banker who would have been able to assist them with their electronic needs.

Mr Mashile added that a strategic reassessment was necessary to see what the external environment was, what the organisation’s limitations were and what its role was in society. ICASA was implementing the policies that came from government in terms of communication. ICASA would like to ‘put its shoulder to the wheel with regards to economic growth, job creation, reducing poverty and ensuring a better quality of life for all. The organisation was currently analysing the new Electronic Communications Act to see what needed to be done and how to deal with all other ramifications attached to it.

ICASA did have very serious challenges and would like to spread itself in terms of its capabilities. The organisation was strong as a collective. ICASA’s forces would have to be marshalled in a manner that would cover all bases. Consideration should be given when new councillors came on board. The organisation did not have people expert in marketing or economics despite the fact that such areas were of key importance. This would need to be taken into account when the new batch of councillors would be considered. It would be necessary for ICASA to come to the Committee each year to inform it of what it has been able to do and what it has been challenged by. If goals were not reached, the organisation would not be on the defensive and try to mitigate its shortcomings. They wanted to avoid the ‘blame game’. The Committee, ICASA and government were all in this together and had to "synergise" somewhere along the way. ICASA was aware that it was accountable but needed the Committee’s support and assistance in this process.

The organisation was going through a restructuring process. There would be an overhaul. The hope was that in this process, the organisation would not deal with symptomatic problems but with the root of problems. He asked the Committee to bear with ICASA when it returned with a restructured organisation that might not bear any similarity to the one before it that day.

Ms Burbulia reminded the Committee that ICASA was only five years old and that it had been created as the result of restructuring and merging. It now needed an overhaul. It was necessary to be open and mindful to issues of staff morale, high levels of uncertainty and concern. These were some of the other challenges the organisation would be facing going forward.

The meeting was adjourned.


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