The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa will hold virtual public hearings in relation to the written representations received following the publication of the Draft End-user and Subscriber Service Charter Amendment Regulations in Government Gazette No 46153 on March 31, 2022.

The public hearings will be held virtually on 6 and 7 October 2022, from 9:00 a.m. (SAST).

The hearings are part of the Authority’s process of amending the End-user and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations of 2016, published in Government Gazette No 39898. These important regulations aim to promote transparency, to protect consumers, and to ensure high quality of service (QoS) in the provision of communication services.

The proposed amendments aim to improve the quality of service for electronic communication services, while also introducing new regulations for voice, SMS, and data services. The proposed amendments were necessitated by the need to add new quality of service parameters for electronic communication services, as well as to adjust some existing ones, in order for the Authority to continue monitoring and enforcing compliance with customer care standards in a changing environment.

The proposed amendments were also necessitated by general concerns raised by various stakeholders, including consumer groups, with regard to data expiry rules, high out-of-bundle rates and rules, and out-of-bundle voice and Short Messaging Service (SMS) rules currently applied by licensees.

The amendments proposed by the Authority will have a direct and immediate impact on consumer welfare. Improved quality of service requirements, and simplified, more customer-friendly voice and data rules, will provide important benefits for end-users and subscribers.Dr Charley Lewis, Committee Chairperson