Final Next Generation Radio Frequency Spectrum Policy approved

Friday, December 1, 2023

Cabinet has approved the publication of the final Next Generation Radio Frequency Spectrum Policy.

The policy intends to support the spectrum allocation and licensing for fixed mobile; broadcasting; aeronautical and marine; research and development; community access, and other relevant industries.

The policy also seeks to promote equity and fair allocation to contribute towards the transformation of the sector and accessibility of digital connectivity even in outlying parts of the country.

The purpose of the policy is to address gaps and limitations that were identified in the 2016 National Information and Communications Technology White Paper and prepares for the amendment of relevant sections of the Electronic Communications Act, 2005 (Act 36 of 2005), which include:
• unclear roles and responsibilities between Minister and the authority (ICASA) which contributed to inefficiencies;
• gaps in the spectrum management regime; 
• an exclusive spectrum regime that benefit a few and bigger player; and
• inefficiencies towards extending broadband access to rural, remote and underserved areas.

Draft White Paper on Electric Vehicles (EVs)

Cabinet has also approved the White Paper on Electric Vehicles (EVs) that aims to ensure South Africa becomes part of the global shift from internal combustion engines to new technology vehicles (electric vehicles).

“The policy supports investments in the development and expansion of new and existing manufacturing plants to support the production of electric vehicles in the country,” Cabinet said.

South Africa’s automobile industry plays a critical role in economic growth and supports thousands of jobs, and the country is also endowed with mineral resources that position it to become a key and strategic player in EV value chains. 

Comprehensive Student Funding Model for post-school education and training

Cabinet has approved the Comprehensive Student Funding Model for post-school education and training that seeks to provide funding to children, commonly known as the missing middle.

“The funding model will cater for students whose families do not qualify for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme funding, by up to the maximum of R600 000 per year. 

“The funding will focus on promoting the acquisition of skills and qualifications for the future, with 70% of eligible applicants funded for critical skills and 30% for humanities,” Cabinet said.

Draft Human Settlements White Paper

Cabinet has further approved the publication of the draft Human Settlements White Paper for public comments.

It is intended to strengthen the department’s approach of providing sustainable human settlements. The White Paper informs the government approach to use tailor-made subsidy instruments that target poor households and vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities. 

The policy promotes coordination between the three spheres of government for effective and efficient delivery of human settlements. It will enhance the realisation of the rights for South Africans to adequate housing and sustainable spaces, including supporting economic opportunities and social cohesion. 

Revised White Paper on Families (WPF)

Cabinet has also approved the Revised WPF for implementation. The policy seeks to foster well-functioning families which are loving, peaceful, safe, stable and economically self-sustaining.  

“The policy views the family as a key development imperative and seeks to mainstream family issues into government-wide, policy-making initiatives to foster positive family well-being and overall socio-economic development in the country,” Cabinet said.

The WPF emphasises the point that healthy families are the foundation of strong communities and societies. It notes that families are best placed to fulfill their role in society when they function in an enabling and supportive environment. 

Government will implement the WPF in collaboration with civil society, non-governmental organisations, research institutions and other social partners. Then policy is available on -