Broadband Infraco Bill: deliberations

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Public Enterprises

04 September 2007
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

04 September 2007

Joint Chairpersons: Mr Y Carrim (ANC); Mr C Wang (ANC) Mr E Kholwane

Documents handed out:
Broadband Infraco Bill Workshop Draft
Sentech's Additional Inputs to Infraco Bill

Broadband Infraco Bill [B26-2007]

Audio recording of meeting [Part 1] & [Part 2]

Sentech Response to Broadband Infraco Bill (the Bill)

Mr E Kholwane (ANC) stated that Sentech had still not been provided an opportunity to present its comments on the issues raised by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) in its presentation on 22 August.

Mr Dingane Dube, Executive: Regulatory Affairs, Sentech, stated that Sentech's mandate was to provide services to the rural areas and the Department’s presentation had only focused on Sentech’s My Wireless product. Therefore Sentech did not only provide Tier 2 services and it served more than just the urban areas. With regard to exclusivity, Sentech believed that entities should be allowed to interact with Infraco without going to a third party.

Mr Litha Mcwabeni, Deputy Director General, Department of Public Enterprises, stated that the DPE had looked through Sentech’s re-submission and believed that there was nothing substantially new about Sentech’s presentation. The Department was dealing with market failure and was concerned that South Africa was lagging behind in the cost of broadband. The Department would like to deal with the issues raised by Sentech within an evaluative frame work.

Co-Chairperson Mr Carrim stated that some of the Committee did not have time to debate some of the issues that had been raised by Sentech, as the public hearings had come to an end. On the issues raised by Sentech with regard to exclusivity, the Committee had continuously asked the Department and Neotel to meet and come up with some sort of agreement. With regard to the licensing, the Committee believed that both Sentech and Infraco‘s roles would overlap, however it would be up to the shareholders to determine the types of services to be provided. With regard to the scheduling, it was not up to the Committee to deal with the issue, and Sentech should take the issue up with National Treasury and the Department of Communications. The Committee would however note in its report Sentech’s concern and hopefully the issues will be followed up on.

Mr Dube stated that Sentech appreciated the way in which the Committee handled the matter, and was grateful that the issues would be included in the Committee’s report.

Clause By Clause Deliberations of the Working Draft
Members debated certain grammatical elements of the clause. The long title was accepted subject to grammatical amendments.

Members debated grammatical elements of the clause, and it was decided to accept the preamble subject to certain technical amendments.

Clause 1: Definitions
There were no changes to this Clause

Clause 2: Objects of Act
debated certain grammatical elements of the various sub-clauses, and it was decided to accept clause, subject to these amendments.

Clause 3
Members agreed to accept this clause, subject to technical amendments.

Clause 4
Members debated various content issues in the clause and agreed that Mr Carrim, Mr Enver Daniels, Chief State Law Advisor, and Ms Sandra Coetzee, Deputy Director, DPE, would sit down and redraft the entire Clause.

The redraft of the Bill would be discussed at the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned



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