The South African Communications Forum (SACF) is a representative association for the ICT industry. Its purpose is to ensure that South Africa’s ICT policy environment remains one that enables a competitive and inclusive sector, capable of attracting and sustaining investment.
Formed in 2001, the SACF replaced the then African Telecommunications Forum (ATF), founded in 1993. The new forum was established to adequately meet the representative needs of its members in a sector that saw emerging technologies transform both the ICT business and regulatory landscape.
Since inception, the SACF has strived to be a unified voice, advocating for the growth, development and transformation of the sector, on behalf of its members.
The SACF represents a broad group of stakeholders in the telecommunication, electronic media, postal, information technology, electronics and broadcasting Industries.
Much of the work of the SACF is accomplished within three different member committees. They are the policy committee; the technical committee, and the transformation committee. Collectively, these committees contribute and guide the activities that are centered around:
- Identifying policy, regulatory or legislative challenges;
- Developing solutions to these challenges and create industry positions;
- Reviewing and respond to public consultations; and
- Raising awareness on key issues of concern.
Individually, each committee has a distinct focus areas. The policy committee’s main focus is to develop industry positions in the following arenas:
- Spectrum Licensing
- Data and Cloud Policy
- Licensing Framework
- Data Costs
- Rapid Deployment
- Universal service and access
The Technical Committee focuses on technical and complex issues that affect all aspects of operations of the ICT sector. Some of these critical issues, such as spectrum management and resource allocation, may not appear on the policy and regulatory agenda, despite their importance. The role of the SACF is therefore critical to proactively advocate for these issues to be addressed in policy and regulatory developments, and to put forward workable industry positions on these issues.
Some of the key focus areas of the Technical Committee include:
- Spectrum Planning
- Type approval
- Participation in the ITU
The Transformation Committee focuses on robust engagement to address the imbalances and inequalities in the sector, especially related to B-BBEE, the representation of race and gender in ownership and in leadership positions in the C-Suite.
The subject of transformation is also closely linked to sector obligations in regard to Universal service and access. Vulnerable groups such as the disabled, the rural under-serviced communities and those living in poverty groups, remain marginalised in relation to universal service and access. SACF ensure that this transformation remains a priority legislative and regulatory agenda.
The purpose of the Transformation Committee is to:
- BBBEE ICT Sector Charter
- HDI – ICASA