An initiative of the FTTx Council Africa, the COVID19 ICT Task Team was set up to provide a response to the COVID19 pandemic and subsequent lock down announced by the President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa.
The aim of the Task Team is to provide support to the relevant state structures tasked with addressing the COVID-19 pandemic as well as provide a platform for industry during a time of uncertainty.

A kick-off meeting was held on Monday 16 March 2020 with industry CEO’s to collect inputs. During the initial meeting several pertinent issues were identified, and these were placed into Streams where they can be unpacked and solutions developed.

Each stream has a Lead appointed and have subsequently been working around the clock to develop response documents. Any person may join a stream of his/her interest and participate.

Categories of essential services shall be confined to the following services: (as amended by Gazette 43168 of 26 March 2020 and Gazette 43199 of 2 April 2020)

13. Newspaper, broadcasting and telecommunication infrastructure and services, including call centres critical for the support of such services.

All businesses that will be allowed to provide essential services are required to seek approval from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the DTIC) in order for them to trade during the period of the lockdown.

The registration portal is only for registered companies operating in South Africa. Such businesses are required to apply to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) Bizportal website at www.bizportal.gov.za and obtain a certificate from the Commission that allows them to continue trading.

Download the “Essential Service Permit Template” to make your application.

Employees performing essential services must at all time carry official company documentation with them, as well as the CIPC permit.

  • Copy and paste the template onto an official company letterhead; find the template here (or visit the Documents page)
  • Complete all company information and issuer information;
  • Prepare an individual letter for each employee who will be working – include their details and attach a copy of their Identity document;
  • The form must be signed by the head of the institution;
  • Provide a company stamp

Employees must at all times have identification with them.

It is certainly not business as usual. The general rule is that only links that are critical for the purpose of COVID19 may be installed. Therefore, if your company has to deploy a service which will support a priority sector it may apply to the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies for a permit to deploy a link.

Companies are however mandated to ensure that existing infrastructure is maintained, and that networks function optimally. Companies therefore may deploy infrastructure where it is deemed critical to the optimal maintainance of the network or where it is deemed that capacity is required to ensure optimal uptime of your ongoing network operations.

You may apply for the deployment of critical links by clicking here. Submit your request to pmello@dtps.gov.za.
The Department will seek feedback from the necessary stakeholders prior to granting permission.

IMPORTANT: Please note that all links deployed during the COVID19 needs to be registered with ICASA. Please submit to Covidata@icasa.org.za

The Regulator has set up a link to be used to download the form for ICASA’s Infrastructure register: https://www.icasa.org.za/pages/network-infrastructure-deployment-for-covid19-icasa

Please click on this link to report. Provide us much information as possible in order for the shipment to be tracked and released.

Telecommunications infrastructure and services were declared an essential service by the Minister of Telecommunications and Digital Technologies. In this regard companies offering telecommunications services have a legal right to proceed with their work during the COVID19 pandemic.

If you experience any problems please complete the relevant form on the My Documents page and we will take it up via the relevant structures.

The FTTx Council applied to the Competition Commission for relaxation of the Competition Act during COVID19. The Competition Commission felt that it will not grant ‘blanket’ exemption, however it said that it may be approached in specific situations where relaxation was required in order for the industry to collaborate in providing connectivity to combat COVID19.

Any such requests must be sent to the COVID19 Legal Stream who will submit it on your behalf.

Clause 6.1. All service providers of electronic communications networks and services (telecommunications infrastructure and services) must ensure continued service provision;

In this regard the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies request that operators provide assurance in terms of the stability of the networks and to provide possible intervention where required.
Forms must be completed and submitted by close of business every Monday. Completed forms are submitted directly to the Department.