Cape Town - South Africans will have universal access to broadband by 2019,
Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda said in his budget speech in
Parliament on Tuesday.
"We have finalised the broadband policy whose vision is to
ensure that South Africans have universal access and services to
broadband by 2019," Nyanda said.
"The benefits accruing from the policy will include the
provision of multimedia and e-government throughout the country."
The growth of broadband would "expand markets" and have
widespread benefits for the South African economy, Nyanda said.
"The implementation of the broadband policy will impact on the
growth of the economy through expanding markets, increasing
business efficiency and promoting competition."
Nyanda said the roll-out of effective ICT services would ensure
that government services were available to all South Africans,
irrespective of where they were in the country.
"South Africans will be able to see a single face of government
and be able to connect with all levels of government and different
departments using a single platform," he said.
"ICT offers a possibility of e-government where government
offers a seamless and integrated platform for interaction."
ICT could contribute to the scientific interpretation of outputs
in the agricultural sector, water management, including numeracy
and literacy training of communities, he said.
"We are in discussions with the department of rural development
and land reform to ensure that we participate in the agrarian
reform and food security programme through technology intervention
in our sector.
"This will also contribute to our involvement in growing the
Nyanda said he "intended" to introduce legislation in the
current parliamentary session "aimed at further strengthening the
ICT policy framework".
The legislation includes the Icasa Amendment Bill, to strengthen
the governance framework of the regulator and The Public Service
Broadcasting Bill to align the public broadcasting system to the
developmental goals of the country.