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ICT Ministry now drafting Bill for independent communications regulator
By NOMILE HLATSHWAYO - swazi times-31-Jul-2009
MBABANE – The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) is about to finish drafting the legislation that will result to the appointment of an independent regulator for the telecommunications industry
Just over a month ago, ICT Minister Nelisiwe Shongwe revealed that they were working on a piece of legislation that would usher into being the existence of a communications regulatory commission that would be independent.
She expressed hope that an independent regulator would be appointed by the end of the year.
“Currently, there is no independent regulator in Swaziland and communication regulation is performed by the Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC). This means that current regulation in Swaziland is performed by an operator that is both a player and a referee,” she said.
When requested to give an update on the issue, Director of Communications in the ministry Stan Motsa disclosed that the preparatory work for the piece of legislation had been completed.
“We have completed the preparatory work for the legislation; in fact, we are just about to finish the drafting of the Bill,” he said.
Motsa disclosed that once they finish the draft Bill, it would be taken to stakeholders. “The process is such that once we finish the draft, we will then have to take it to stakeholders in the industry because we want their inputs. These inputs will then be incorporated into the Bill, which will then be taken to the Attorney General’s (AG) office to fine tune it into a proper draft Bill,” he explained.
From the AG’s office, Motsa said the draft Bill would be taken to Cabinet. “When Cabinet has approved the draft, it will then be advertised and gazetted before being tabled in Parliament. We have to follow all these processes and they take time. However, we are expecting that, just like the minister said, the legislation will be ready by the end of the year,” he said.
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