According to Cwele, the South African government recognises the ICT industry as one of the most important sectors for economic growth and societal transformation, and that this white paper is the “springboard to the future.”
The ICT policy white paper deals with the ICT and postal sectors and presents a framework of government’s plans for an inclusive digital society, where all South Africans can access affordable digital services in their preferred language.
However, the white paper has been met with criticism from the DA’s Marian Shinn, who cautions that it is “monopolistic” and “unconstitutional in parts”.
Shinn, who is the DA spokesperson for Telecommunications and Postal Services, says the paper will not succeed in narrowing the digital divide and bring about cost-effective communications infrastructure and services, but that it will “give rise to crony-heavy bureaucracies with powers to impose ceiling-less taxes on the sector and dispense government largesse”.
The white paper was approved by Cabinet on Wednesday, 28 September.