RIA Executive Director Dr Gillwald contributed to the telecommunications component of the Material Conditions committee contribution to the recently released National Planning Commission report. RIA welcomes the acknowledgement of ICT as a driver of the economic growth and development in the diagnostic report and to see it firmly on the national agenda again.
Growth in South Africa’s ICT sector has not been accompanied by a realisation of the primary policy objectives of affordable access, for all, to the full range of communications services that characterise modern economies. South Africa has lost its status as continental leader in internet and voice connectivity, with its place on global ICT indices also usurped by former comparator countries, such as Malaysia, Turkey and Korea (DBSA 2011 b). Where Korea and South Africa were comparatively placed on ITU ratings IS to 20 years ago. Korea is now a top global performer (Gillwald 2011). South Africa’s ranking on the ITU ICT Development Index has slipped from 72nd in 2002, to 92nd in 2008 (DBSA 201 Ib). While ICT is driven primarily by private investment and private operators, it is guided by national regulatory frameworks which, judged on the basis of their outcomes, have not proven to be particularly effective.
See link for full report.