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Universal Access and Service Governance

The Minister shall, on the recommendation of the Commission, appoint a committee consisting of not less than five and no more than seven members to implement the universal service and access obligations provided for in Section 30. S24 of the Electronic Communication Act of 2013.

Functions of the Universal Service Committee

The Universal Service Committee shall;

(a) prepare and update a strategic plan, which will be made publicly available once it is approved by the Board, at least once every three (3) years and is to be used by the Universal Service Committee in carrying out its functions;

(b) conduct a needs analysis which shall be subjected to a public consultation process and shall amongst others identify the true access gap and the smart subsidy zone, at least once every three (3) years, and make the report available to the public and implement a process to address these gaps;

(c) determine and make recommendations to the Board on the annual objectives with the purpose of ensuring the services listed in Section 30 of the Act, after following a regulatory impact analysis (RIA), which may be revised from time to time.

Members of the Universal Service Committee

  • Ali Resting
  • Alex Hlandze
  • Bongiwe Dlamini – Ministry of ICT Representative
  • Mvilawemphi Dlamini – ESCCOM Chief Executive
  • Wandile Mtshali
  • Karen Mbuyisa

Duties of the Universal Service Committee

The Universal Service Committee shall;

(a) promote the goal of universal service and access;

(b) conduct research into and keep abreast with national and international information communications technology developments and universal access and service initiatives on an on-going basis;

(c) designate licensees to carry out universal service obligations;

(d) monitor and evaluate compliance to universal service obligations by relevant licensees with the assistance of other departments within the Commission, where required;

(e) request any information, documentation or reports from relevant licensees, as may be required in order to perform its functions;

(f) conduct bi-annual surveys and evaluate the extent to which universal service has been achieved, and make the findings publicly available; S91

(g) implement supply chain management processes including but not limited to the preparation of tender documents, invitation to tenders, evaluation and awarding of tenders; (h) conduct project management for the implementation and completion of contracts or any projects as may be required:

(i) procure the services of experts and other consultants to provide advice and services retailing to the performance of any of its functions;

(j) participate in policy development, and facilities cooperation regarding the Rural Access Fund; and

(k) initiate or cause the Commission to initiate proceedings in terms of Section 36 of the Act.