Telecommunications Act, 1996
No. 103 of 1996
GENERAL EXPLANATORY NOTE:
] Words in bold type in square brackets indicate omissions
from existing enactments.
Words underlined with a solid line indicate insertions in existing enactments.
To make new provision for the regulation of telecommunication activities other than broadcasting, and for the control of the radio frequency spectrum; and for that purpose to establish an independent South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and a Universal Service Agency; to repeal the Radio Act, 1952, and the Radio Amendment Acts of 1957, 1962, 1963, 1969 and 1974 and to amend the General Law Amendment Acts of 1957 and 1975, the Post Office Act, 1958, the Post Office Service Act, 1974, the Broadcasting Act, 1976, the Legal Succession to the South African Transport Services Act, 1989, and the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act, 1993; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
BE IT ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, as follows:-
ARRANGEMENT OF ACT
5. Establishment of South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority
79. Establishment of 112 Emergency Centres
80. Functions of 112 Emergency Centres
81. Public emergency number
82. Standards, capabilities and operating procedures of 112 Emergency Centres
103. Repeal of Radio Act, 1952
104. Repeal of section 42 of General Law Amendment Act, 1957
105 to 118. Amendment of Post Office Act, 1958
119. Repeal of Radio Amendment Acts of 1957, 1962, 1963, 1969 and 1974
120 to 123. Amendment of Post Office Service Act, 1974
124. Repeal of certain sections of General Law Amendment Act, 1975
125. Amendment of Broadcasting Act, 1976
126. Amendment of Legal Succession to South African Transport Services Act, 1989
127 to 129. Amendment of Independent Broadcasting Authority Act, 1993
In this Act, unless the context indicates otherwise—
means the Universal Service Agency established by section
(a) originates on the telecommunication system of a public switched telecommunication service licensee or mobile cellular telecommunication service licensee or an under-serviced area licensee in the Republic and terminates in a telecommunication system in another country or vice versa; or
(b) originates and terminates in a telecommunication system of an operator licensed in another country to provide international services, but is conveyed via a teleclommunication system in the Republic on a wholesale basis, but which specifically excludes the termination of international telecommunication services to end-users directly in the Republic;
[Definition of "carrier of carriers" inserted by section 1(a) of Act 64 of 2001]
means any facility by which subscribers to a telecommunication service can
access the services of an interconnected
national long-distance telecommunication
operator and international telecommunication
(a) originates in a telecommunication system in the Republic and terminates in a telecommunication system in another country or vice versa; or
(b) originates and terminates in a telecommunication system in another country but is conveyed via a telecommunication system in the Republic;
[Definition of "international telecommunication service" inserted by section 1(g) of Act 64 of 2001]
(a) between any customers of the licensee within that area; and
(b) to and from a customer of the licensee and the network of any public service telecommunication licensee with whom the licensee is interconnected at a point in that area,
and include the installation, bringing into service, the maintenance and repair of the telecommunication network which is provided, maintained and operated by the licensee for the purposes of providing the local access telecommunication service as contemplated in section 39;
[Definition of "local access telecommunication service" inserted by section 1(g) of Act 64 of 2001]
exchange" means a facility in the public switched
telecommunication network to which user lines are connected within
a local exchange;
(a) allocating a limited number of frequencies within each of a number of defined geographical areas or cellls;
(b) allowing the re-use of the same frequencies in different non-adjacent cells; and
(c) enabling users to maintain connections while moving through different geographical areas by making use of call handover between adjacent cells;
[Definition of "mobile cellular telecommunication network" inserted by section 1(i) of Act 64 of 2001]
"mobile cellular telecommunication service"
means a telecommunication service
provided by a licensed mobile cellular telecommunication
operator as referred to in section 37;
(a) internet through television;
"national long distance telecommunication
service" means a telecommunication
service comprising the conveyance of signals
between the network of any licensee providing local access
telecommunication services in an area, and the network of the same
or of another licensee providing such service in another area, and
includes the installation, bringing into service, maintenance and
repair of the telecommunication
network that is provided, maintained and operated by the licensee for
the purposes of providing the national long distance telecommunication service as
contemplated in section 38;
"private telecommunication network"
means a telecommunication system
provided by a person for purposes principally or integrally related to
the operations of that person and which is installed onto two or more
separate, non-contiguous premises and where the switching systems
(nodes) of at least two of these premises are interconnected
to the public
switched telecommunication network as contemplated in section 41;
(a) a sound radio set or other device capable of receiving broadcasting by radio in the form of sound but not also in the form of images or any other visible signal, if such set or device is used only for the reception of broadcasting;
(b) except in sections 54 and 55, a television set as contemplated in the Broadcasting Act, 1976 (Act No. 73 of 1976);
"radio frequency spectrum licence"
means a licence referred to in section 30;
(a) any kind of technological intervention that would act on the content, format or protocol or similar aspects of the signals transmitted or received by the customer in order to provide those customers with additional, different or restructured information;
(b) the provision of authorised access to, and interaction with, processes for storing and retrieval of text and data;
(c) managed data network services;
[Definition of "value-added network service" inserted by section 1(p) of Act 64 of 2001]
"voice over internet protocol" means
a series of techniques permitting transmission of a voice over the
internet or through one or more telecommunication
facilities using internet protocol;
(2) In interpreting any provision of this Act regard must be had to the International Telecommunication Conventions concluded at Malaga and Torremolinos in 1973 and Nairobi in 1982 and the Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union.
Objects of Act
Applications of Act
shall not apply in relation to broadcasting,broadcasting signal
distribution or broadcasting
services frequency bands, except as provided in sections 2(r) and 127 to 129
and in relation to multimedia services
[Section 3 substituted by section 3 of Act 64 of 2001]
State bound by Act
The provisions of this Act bind the State, except—
[Subsections (1), (2) and (3) deleted by
section 23 of
Act 13 of 2000.]
[Sections 6 to 20 inclusive repealed by section
Act 13 of 2000.]
[Section 17 amended by section 1 of Act 12 of 1997.]
[Section 17 amended by section 35(1) of Act 47 of 1997.]
[Sections 21 to 25 inclusive repealed by section 23 of Act 13 of 2000.]
|26.||(1) The Authority
may appoint as many experts as may be necessary, including experts from
other countries, with a view to assisting the Authority
in the performance of its functions.
(2) The terms, conditions, remuneration and allowances applicable in respect of any expert by virtue of his or her appointment in terms of subsection (1), and the work to be performed or service to be rendered by virtue of such appointment, shall be determined in a written agreement entered into for that purpose between the Authority and the expert concerned.
(1) The Authority may from time to time conduct an enquiry into any matter relevant to—
(2) The Authority shall make known
its intention to conduct such an enquiry by the publication in the Gazette of a notice to that effect.
(4) Written representations made pursuant to a notice
contemplated in subsection (2) shall, subject to subsection (7), be
open to inspection by interested parties during the normal office hours
of the Authority.
(7) The provisions of section 34(4) and (5) shall apply, with the necessary changes, in relation to representations contemplated in subsections (4) and (6). (8) The Authority shall, after it has conducted an enquiry, by notice in the Gazette—
(9) The Authority shall, within two years after the commencement of this Act, conduct an enquiry in terms of this section into matters relating to mobile cellular telecommunication services referred to in section 37(2).
(4) The Authority shall give notice
in the Gazette of its
intention to prepare a plan and in such notice invite interested
parties to submit their written representations to the Authority within such period as may be specified
in such notice.
(a) Any frequency band plan
adopted in terms of this section and all such comments, representations
and other documents as have been received in response to the notice
contemplated in subsection (4) or tendered at the hearing, shall be
kept at the offices of the Authority and
shall, subject to paragraph (b), be open to public inspection by
interested persons during the normal office hours of the Authority, and the Authority
shall at the request of any person and on payment of such fee as may be
prescribed, furnish him or her with a
(1) No person shall transmit any signal by radio or use radio apparatus to receive any signal by radio, or do or permit to be done anything for which a licence, certificate or authority is required in terms of this section, except under and in accordance with—
(7) The procedures in relation to the amendment, renewal or
transfer of a frequency spectrum licence,
certificate or authority contemplated in this section shall be as prescribed.
(4) In determining the fees contemplated in subsections (1)(b)(i) and (2)(c)(i) the Minister shall take into account—
[Section 30A inserted by section 5 of Act 64 of 2001]
(4) In determining the fees contemplated in subsections (1)(b)(i) and (2)(c)(i), the Minister shall take into account—
[Section 30B inserted by section 5 of Act 64 of 2001]
Control of possession of radio apparatus
(1) Subject to section 30(9), no person
shall have in his or her possession any radio
apparatus unless he or she is in possession of a permit issued by
the Authority in terms of this section or a
frequency spectrum or station licence issued in terms of section
30 authorising such possession, or unless he or she is a supplier
registered in terms of section 56.
|32.||(1) Subject to the provisions of
this Act, no person shall provide a telecommunication service except
under and in accordance with a telecommunication
service licence issued to that person in terms
of this Chapter.
(2) A licence shall confer on the holder the privileges and subject him or her to the obligations provided in this Act or specified in the licence.
(3) Where Telkom and the second national operator fail to
conclude agreements contemplated in subsection (2), or after the
parties have negotiated in good faith and used their reasonable
endeavours to resolve disputes relating to such agreements, either
party may request the Authority in writing to
resolve all outstanding issues.
(7) Where the Minister makes the
determination contemplated in subsection (5), the Authority
may prescribe regulations to ensure equal
and non-discriminatory access to facilities among all licensed
(1) The second national
operator shall be granted a public
switched telecommunication service licence on no less favourable
terms and conditions than those of the licence
held by Telkom.
[Section 32B inserted by section 6 of Act 64 of 2001]
(4) On or before 31 December 2001, the Authority
shall publish in the Gazette
draft licences, which shall include proposed
conditions on which Sentech Limited must
provide the services contemplated in subsection (1).
(3) In the case of an application for a licence to provide a telecommunication service referred to in subsection (2) or any other telecommunication service prescribed for the purposes of this subsection the Authority may—
(3A) The Authority may require an
applicant or an interested party who has lodged written representations
in terms of subsection (3) to furnish the Authority,
within the period specified by it, with such further information as may
be reasonably necessary in order to consider the application.
(6) When issuing invitations for applications in respect of licences to be lodged in terms of this section, the Minister shall have regard to any relevant provision made in terms of section 36(3) in the licence issued to Telkom.
(1) The Authority shall, after having duly considered any application for a licence made in terms of this Act and any written submissions in relation to the applications that may be called for by the Authority and submitted to the Authority within the period determined by the Authority—
(3) In the consideration of applications in terms of this Act, due regard shall be given to applications—
(4) Without derogating from subsection (3), in the evaluation
of equity ownership held by persons from historically disadvantaged
groups or held by women in an application for a licence
in terms of this Act, the Authority
shall give due preference for up to 30% of such equity ownership or
such higher equity ownership percentage as may be prescribed.
(2) Telkom and any other holder of a licence to provide a public switched
telecommunication service shall, until a date to be fixed by the Minister by notice in the Gazette, after consultation with
the Authority and the Agency,
comply with conditions specified in the licence
in question relating to the extension of its public switched
telecommunication service to areas and communities which are not
served or not adequately served by telecommunication
services, with a view to the achievement of universal service.
(4) All the fixed periods specified in terms of subsection (3)
shall commence on the date of commencement of the licence
issued to Telkom, and the length of each such
period shall before such commencement be planned in such a way as to
result in the phasing-in and completion over a number of years,
determined by the Minister, of the process of
licensing or, as the case may be, discontinuing the application of
special limitations imposed in the licensing of persons other than Telkom to provide services similar to those
specified in the licence issued to Telkom.
(1) A ‘public switched telecommunication networks’ shall be the telecommunication systems which are installed or otherwise provided, maintained and operated by a public switched telecommunication service licensee for the purpose of providing public switched telecommunication services and fixed-mobile services such as—
(2) The systems contemplated in subsection (1) shall not
include telecommunication equipment
located on the premises of a customer, unless it is meant for public
pay-telephones or mobile telecommunications
on the premises of a customer.
(2) A licence contemplated in
subsection (1) shall contain a condition prohibiting the mobile cellular
telecommunication service in question, until a date to be fixed by
the Minister by notice in the Gazette, from utilising any fixed
lines which may be required for the provision of the service other than
fixed lines made available by Telkom or any
other person providing a public switched
(5) If the Minister determines that
any additional licence may be granted, such licence may be issued after 31 December 2003 in
terms of section 34.
|38.||(1) No persons other than Telkom shall be granted a licence
to provide national
long distance telecommunication services until after 7 May 2002.
[Subsection (1) substituted by section 13 of Act 64 of 2001]
(2) A licence issued to a person other than Telkom authorising the provision of a national long-distance telecommunication service shall contain a condition requiring the telecommunication system in question to be interconnected, in terms of section 43, to the telecommunication system of Telkom or any other person providing a public switched telecommunication service.
(3) No licence to provide a national long-distance telecommunication service shall be granted to Transnet or to Eskom, but such a licence may, with the concurrence of the Minister and the Minister for Public Enterprises, be granted to a subsidiary company of Transnet or Eskom.
(3) Different dates may be fixed under subsections (1)(a) and
(2)(a) in respect of different areas.
(2) A licence to provide any value-added network services, including, but not limited to, electronic data interchange, electronic mail, protocol conversion, access to a database or a managed data network service, shall contain a condition that the service in question be provided by means of telecommunication facilities—
(5) The holder of a licence in terms
of this section shall not be required to hold a licence
contemplated in section 34(2)(a)(iii) or (iv) to
enable him or her to provide the value-added
network service in question.
(1) The Minister shall by notice in the Gazette determine those geographic areas where there is teledensity of less than 5% and in respect of which small businesses may apply to the Authority for under-serviced area licences to provide such services or facilities.
(3) An under-serviced area licensee shall provide any telecommunication services,
including voice over internet
protocol services, fixed-mobile
services and public pay telephones, in respect of the area to which
the licence applies.
[Section 40A inserted by section 16 of Act 64 of 2001]
[Subsection (3) deleted by section 17(b) of Act 64 of 2001]
(4) A private
telecommunication network shall not be restricted to the carrying
of voice only or data only or to any other such limited use.
(6) Any agreement which is inconsistent with the provisions of
subsection (3) or (5)(a)(ii) shall be unenforceable to the extent of
(a) The Minister shall, with the concurrence of the Minister of Transport, establish an entity to construct and operate a private telecommunication network to fulfil South Africa's obligations in terms of—
(i) the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea
(b) The entity contemplated in paragraph (a) shall—
(i) be referred to as "Maritime and Aeronautica1 Radio
(1) Any licence which was issued or
authority which was granted under section 78(2)(b) or (5) of the
Post Office Act, 1958 (Act No. 44 of 1958), as that section existed
immediately before its repeal by this Act, and
which was valid immediately before the date of commencement of this Act shall be deemed to be a licence issued in terms of this
(2) Every agreement for the interconnection
of telecommunication systems,
including any agreement contemplated in subsection (1), shall, unless
exempted by the regulations, be lodged by
the parties with the Authority to enable it
to determine whether the agreement is consistent with the guidelines
contemplated in subsection (3).
Provided that within 12 months after the date of commencement of this Act the Minister shall determine by notice in the Gazette such guidelines in respect of Telkom, and such guidelines shall be in force until the third anniversary of the date on which the Minister issued a licence to Telkom in accordance with section 36(1)(a).
(4) The Authority shall, after considering any written representations and after hearing the parties—
(8) This section shall not be construed as preventing
negotiations for interconnection
before the issue of a licence authorising the
provision of any telecommunication
(11) Interconnection rates and
any agreement with regard thereto shall be made public.
[Subsection (1) deleted by section 19(a) of
Act 64 of
(1) The fees and charges which may be levied by a licensee in
respect of the provision of a telecommunication
service shall be determined in such manner as may, subject to
subsection (2), be prescribed.
(3) From a date to be determined by the Minister, all public schools as defined in the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996), and all public further education and training institutions as defined in the Further Education and Training Act, 1998 (Act No. 98 of 1998), shall be entitled to a 50% discount on—
[Subsection (2) substituted and subsection (3) added by section 20 of Act 64 of 2001]
(1) A telecommunication
service licensee shall keep such accounts and records relating to
the provision of his or her telecommunication
service as may be prescribed.
|47.||(1) The period of validity of a telecommunication service licence shall be stipulated in the licence.
(2) The validity of a licence shall terminate with the consent of the licensee if he or she is granted another licence in replacement of the licence in question.
(2) The Authority shall give the
licensee concerned written notice of a proposed amendment contemplated
in subsection (1)(a), (b), (c) or (d) and an opportunity to be heard.
(1) A licensee may, during the prescribed
period, apply for the renewal of his or her licence.
(4) A licence shall continue to be valid until such time as a decision has been made regarding the application for its renewal.
|50.||(1) Application may be made in
the prescribed manner for the transfer of a telecommunication service licence from one person to another.
(2) The provisions of sections 34 and 35 shall apply, with the necessary changes, in relation to the transfer of a licence.
|51.||The right of any provider or user of a telecommunication service to utilise a telecommunication facility made available in terms of any international treaty, agreement or arrangement shall be as prescribed.|
(2) No regulations referred to in subsection (1) shall be made until the Authority has conducted an enquiry in terms of section 27 into the regulations proposed. (3) The provisions of this section and section 53 shall not derogate from the provisions of the Maintenance and Promotion of Competition Act, 1979 (Act No. 96 of 1979).
(1) If it appears to the Authority
that the holder of a telecommunication
licence is taking or intends taking any
action which has or is likely to have the effect of giving an undue
preference to or causing undue discrimination against any person or
category of persons, the Authority may, after
giving the licensee concerned an opportunity to be heard, direct the
licensee by written notice to cease or refrain from taking such action,
as the case may be.
(1) No person shall use, supply, sell, offer for sale or lease
or hire, any type of telecommunication
equipment or facility, including radio
apparatus, in connection with telecommunication
unless that type has, subject to subsection (2), been approved by the Authority.
(1) The Authority, taking into
account the provisions of the
Standards Act, 1993 (Act No. 29 of 1993), may prescribe standards for
the performance and operation of any telecommunication facility or
equipment, including radio apparatus.
|56.||(1) No person shall supply telecommunication facilities or
equipment unless, subject to subsection (2), he or she has been
registered by the Authority.
(2) The Authority may prescribe types or categories of telecommunication facilities or equipment for the supply of which registration in terms of this section shall not be required.
(3) The procedure for obtaining registration in terms of this section shall be as prescribed.
|57.||(1) No person shall install or
maintain any telecommunication
facilities or equipment unless he or she has, subject to subsection
(2), been certified by the Authority as being
proficient to do so.
(2) The Authority may prescribe types or categories of telecommunication facilities or equipment, the installation or maintenance of which, or certain categories of installation or maintenance of which, shall not require certification in terms of this section.
(3) The procedure to obtain certification in terms of this section, and the examinations to be passed or other qualifications to be held before a certificate of proficiency may be issued, shall be as prescribed.
|58.||(1) There is hereby established
a juristic person to be known as the Universal Service Agency.
(2) The Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, appoint a board of up to seven members to provide oversight of and guidance to the Universal Service Agency.
[Subsection (2) added by section 23 of Act 64 of 2001]
(1) The Agency shall—
(3) The Agency—
(a) employ such other persons;
(3) The Head shall, in the selection of the staff of the Agency—
(4) The Head and other staff of the Agency
shall be appointed on the grounds of their qualifications, expertise or
experience in the fields, when viewed collectively of development
planning, community development, social sciences, economics,
telecommunications and publicity.
(1) The operating and capital costs of the Agency
shall be financed from money appropriated by Parliament from time to
time for that purpose.
[Subsections (2) and (3) substituted by section 24 of Act 64 of 2001]
|62.||The Agency shall, with the approval of the Director-General, open and maintain with a bank registered finally as a bank in terms of the Banks Act, 1990 (Act No. 94 of 1990), an account in which there shall be deposited the money received by the Agency and from which payments for it or on its behalf shall be made.|
(1) The Agency shall furnish to the Minister such information and particulars as he
or she may from time to time in writing require in connection with the
activities of the Agency, and shall annually, as
soon as is reasonably practicable after the end of each period of 12
months ending on 31 March, furnish to the Minister
a report in regard to the functions, affairs and activities of the Agency in respect of such period.
(3) The Minister shall table a copy of the annual report in Parliament within 30 days after it is received by him or her if Parliament is then in ordinary session or, if Parliament is not then in ordinary session, within 30 days after the commencement of its next ordinary session.
With effect from a date determined by the President by proclamation in the Gazette, but which shall not be earlier than five years after the commencement of this Act—
(2) All money received, the amounts of which in terms of
subsection (1) shall be credited to the Universal Service Fund in the
books of the Agency, shall be paid into the
National Revenue Fund established by section 185 of the
(1) The money in the Universal Service Fund shall be utilised exclusively for the payment of subsidies—
(2) The money in the fund shall be apportioned for the
separate purposes referred-to in subsection (1) in accordance with a
[Subsections (1) and (2) substituted, subsection (3) deleted and subsection (4) amended by section 26 of Act 64 of 2001]
(1) Every holder of a licence granted
or deemed to have been granted in terms of Chapter
V shall pay, in addition to licence fees
contemplated in section 88(2), the prescribed annual contributions to the Universal Service Fund with effect
from a date fixed by the Minister by notice in
|67A.||(1) The Agency
may award universal access projects by
public competitive bid to the qualified bidder that requests subsidy
for such project.
(2) The Agency shall in allocating the subsidy take into account, inter alia, the provisions of section 2.
(3) The subsidy for universal access projects shall be paid out of the Universal Service Fund.
(4) The Agency shall supervise the execution of projects awarded under subsection (1).
[Section 67A inserted by section 28 of Act 64 of 2001]
(1) The Agency shall—
(2) The accounts and balance sheet of the Fund shall be
audited by the Auditor-General.
(5) For the purposes of this section, "financial year" shall mean the period extending from 1 April in any year to 31 March in the next succeeding year.
|70.||(1) A fixed line operator may, for the
purposes of provision of its telecommunications services, enter
upon any land, including any street, road, footpath or land reserved
for public purposes, and any railway, and construct and maintain a telecommunications facility upon, under,
over, along or across any land, street, road, footpath or waterway or
any railway, and alter or remove the same, and may for that purpose
attach wires, stays or any other kind of support to any building or
(2) In taking any action in terms of subsection (1), due regard must be had to the environmental policy of the Republic.
|71.||(1) If any local authority and fixed line operator agree that in a
particular area electricity supply and the telecommunication services of
that operator shall be provided by means of underground cable, that
local authority may on any premises within the said area, when
installing such cable for an underground electricity supply line on the
said premises, in accordance with the requirements of the operator
provide a conduit-pipe or other facilities for the installation of an
service line from a point of connection on the street boundary to a
building on those premises.
(2) The costs of the provision of the said conduit-pipe or other facilities shall be payable to the local authority in question and shall for the purpose of any law be deemed to be fees payable by the owner of the premises in question to the local authority in respect of the installation of the electricity supply line.
|72.||A fixed line operator may, after reasonable notice in writing to the local authority or person owning or having the care and maintenance of any street, road or footpath, construct and maintain in the manner specified in that notice any pipes, tunnels or tubes required for telecommunication facilities under any such street, road or footpath, and may alter or remove the same, and may for such purposes break or open up any street, road or footpath and alter the position thereunder of any pipe (not being a sewer drain or main) for the supply of water, gas or electricity: Provided that the local authority or person to whom any such pipe belongs or by whom it is used shall be entitled at all times while any work in connection with the alteration in the position of that pipe is in progress, to supervise that work, and the operator shall pay all reasonable expenses incurred by any such local authority or person in connection with any alteration or removal under this section or any supervision of work relating to such alteration.|
(1) If a fixed line operator
finds it necessary to move any telecommunication
facility, pipes, tunnels or tubes constructed upon, in, over,
along, across or under any land, railway, street, road, footpath or
waterway, owing to any alteration of alignment or level or any other
work on the part of any public authority or person, the cost of the
alteration or removal shall be borne by that local authority or person.
(3) If any deviation or alteration of a telecommunication facility, pipe, tunnel or tube constructed by an operator and passing over any private property is desired on any ground other than those contemplated in subsection (2), 28 days' notice thereof in writing shall be served on the operator, who shall decide whether or not the deviation or alteration is possible, necessary or expedient, and if the operator agrees to make the deviation or alteration, the cost thereof shall be borne by the person at whose request the deviation or alteration is effected: Provided that in any case where in the opinion of the operator it is justified, the operator may bear the whole or any part of the said cost.
|74.||(1) If any fence erected or to
be erected on land over which a telecommunication
facility, pipe, tunnel or tube is constructed or is to be
constructed by a fixed line operator,
renders or would render it impossible or inconvenient for the operator
to obtain access to that land the operator may at its own expense erect
and maintain gates in that fence and shall provide duplicate keys
therefor, one of which shall be handed to the owner or occupier of the
(2) Any person intending to erect any such fence shall give not less than six weeks' notice in writing to the operator of his or her intention.
|75.||(1) Any tree or vegetation which
in the opinion of a fixed line operator
obstructs or interferes or is likely to obstruct or interfere with the
working or maintenance of any of its telecommunication
facilities, pipes, tunnels or tubes, whether growing upon State-owned
land or upon any road or street or upon private land, shall, after
reasonable notice to the owner or occupier of the land, be cut down or
trimmed in accordance with its requirements by the authority having the
care and the management of such State-owned land, road or street or by
the owner or occupier of such private land, as the case may be, at the
expense of the operator, and, in the event of failure to comply with
any such notice, the operator may itself cause the said tree or
vegetation to be cut down or trimmed as it may deem necessary: Provided
that where telecommunication is
actually interfered with or endangered by any such tree or vegetation,
the operator may cause the work which is immediately necessary for the
removal of the interference or danger to be undertaken without any such
(2) In taking any action in terms of subsection (1), due regard must be had to the environmental policy of the Republic.
(2) If the owner of any private land proves to the
satisfaction of an operator that he or she is obstructed in the free
use of his or her land by reason of the insufficient height or depth of
any telecommunication wire, cable or
other facility, pipe, tunnel or tube constructed by that operator, the
operator shall, subject to the provisions of sections 73
and 75, take such steps as it may deem necessary
for giving relief to that owner.
|77.||(1) Any person who constructs,
equips or carries on any railway or works for the supply of light, heat
or power by means of electricity, shall conform to the requirements of
a fixed line operator for the
prevention of any of its telecommunication
facilities or works being injuriously affected thereby, and shall,
before commencing the construction of any such railway or works, give
one month's notice in writing to the operator of his or her intention
to commence the construction, and shall furnish the operator with a
plan of the proposed railway or works, together with particulars
showing the manner and position in which the same are intended to be
constructed, executed and carried on and such further information
relative to the proposed railway or works as the operator may require.
(2) If it appears to the operator that the construction, equipment or operation of any such railway or works is likely to affect injuriously any of its telecommunication facilities or works, or if any of such facilities or works are injuriously affected by the construction, equipment or operation of any such railway or works, the operator shall give reasonable notice of its requirements to the person concerned, and any person who, after receiving any such notice, proceeds with or causes to be proceeded with any such construction, equipment or operation in contravention of the said requirements, shall be liable to the operator in damages, recoverable by action in a competent court, of R50 for every day on which the construction, equipment or operation is proceeded with or the injurious effect continues, and shall in addition make good any damage or expense suffered by the operator by reason of the failure to comply with the operator's requirements.
[Section 78 to 87 inclusive repealed by section 37(1) of Act 97 of 1998]
|78.||In this Chapter, unless the
context otherwise indicates, "emergency organisation" means, in respect
of any locality, the relevant police, fire, ambulance or traffic
authority or coast guard services for that locality and any other
similar organisation providing assistance to the public in emergencies.
[Section 78 inserted by section 29 of Act 64 of 2001]
|79.||(1) The Minister
may by notice in the Gazette
establish public emergency communications centres to be known as "112
(2) A 112 Emergency Centre is a communications service centre by means of which the user of a public telephone system has the ability to reach an emergency centre by dialling the numerals 112 in order to request an emergency service.
(3) 112 Emergency Centres shall be accountable to the Minister.
(4) 112 Emergency Centres shall be exempted from holding a licence to provide telecommunication services in terms of any section of this Act.
[Section 79 inserted by section 29 of Act 64 of 2001]
|80.||(1) 112 Emergency Centres shall
transmit any telecommunication
request for an emergency service to any emergency organisation.
(2) Licensees required to carry calls to 112 Emergency Centres may not levy any charge on the caller for placing calls to 112 Emergency Centres.
(3) Licensees transporting any telecommunication from 112 Emergency Centres to any emergency organisation shall be entitled to recover from the relevant emergency organisation the reasonable cost that it incurs in transporting such telecommunication.
[Section 80 inserted by section 29 of Act 64 of 2001]
|81.||(1) The number 112 is hereby
established as the exclusive national public emergency number.
(2) No person may apply for the registration in terms of applicable intellectual property legislation, or any other law, of any mark or domain name containing the numerals 1-1-2 in that sequence.
(3) No person may call the national emergency telecommunication number, 112, for any purpose other than a request for an emergency service contemplated in section 79(2).
[Section 81 inserted by section 29 of Act 64 of 2001]
|82.||(1) As far as practicably
possible, 112 Emergency Centres shall have voice, data and global
positioning systems capability.
(2) 112 Emergency Centres shall develop and apply common technical standards and standard operating procedures as directed by the Minister from time to time by notice in the Gazette.
(3) Subject to obtaining an appropriate radio frequency licence in accordance with section 30, 112 Emergency Centres may establish their own radio networks, provided such networks are used exclusively to communicate calls to 112 Emergency Centres or emergency organisations.
(4) Emergency Centres may display the 112 public emergency number on public roads and other public places without cost.
[Section 82 inserted by section 29 of Act 64 of 2001]
application for a licence, approval, certification or registration
in terms of this Act shall be accompanied by the prescribed application fee.
(1) The Authority shall prescribe—
[Subsection (1) substituted by section 30(a) of Act 64 of 2001]
(2) A numbering
plan shall consist of a scheme of identification so as to ensure that telecommunication is correctly and efficiently directed to
the point of reception for which it was intended.
[Section 89A inserted by section 31 of Act 64 of 2001]
|89B.||The Authority shall allocate a four digit number
through which the public can access government directory information
services free of charge.
[Section 89B inserted by section 31 of Act 64 of 2001]
framework contemplated is subsection (1) shall ensure that the
implementation and maintenance of the facilities referred to therein
are non-discriminatory and give effect to section 2(j).
|90.||The Director-General may, out of funds appropriated by Parliament from time to time for that purpose, pay grants or subsidies to consultative or advisory forums in the telecommunications sector, including those in the provinces, which have been recognized by the Minister for those purposes.|
(1) The Council may in writing delegate any power or
duty of the Authority in terms of this Act to any councillor or any committee of the Council to the chief executive officer referred
to in section 17(1).
(5) The Council shall not be divested of any power or
function or relieved of any duty which it may have delegated in terms
of subsection (1), and may amend or rescind any decision made in terms
of such a delegation, except where any licence, approval, certification or registration
will be affected thereby.
|92.||(1) The Authority shall keep a register of every licence, approval, certification or registration
issued or renewed in terms of this Act and, subject to the powers of the Minister in terms of this Act, the administration, amendment, renewal
or transfer of every licence, approval, certification or registration
shall be under the control of the Authority.
(2) Such register shall be open to inspection by interested persons during the normal office hours of the Authority.
(3) The Authority shall, at the request of any person and on payment of such fee as may be prescribed, furnish him or her with a copy of or extract from any part of that register.
No councillor, member of a committee of the Council, expert appointed in terms of section 28, member of the staff of the Authority and inspector appointed in terms of section 99, director or member of staff of the Agency, shall disclose any information in regard to any matter which may come to his or her knowledge in the performance of any function in terms of this Act or any work arising therefrom or by virtue of the office held by him or her, except—
financial year of the Agency shall commence on 1 April in any year
and end on 31 March in the next year: Provided that the first financial
year of the Agency shall commence on the date of
commencement of sections 5 and 60,
[Section 94 amended by section 23 of Act 64 of 2001]
(2) Different radio regulations may be made inrespect of different
categories of radio users, radio
bands, licences, authorities or certificates, and areas.
(2) Different regulations may be made in respect of different
categories of telecommunication
and facilities and periods.
[Subsection (5) substituted by section 32(c) of Act 64 of 2001]
(6) The provisions of section
95(3) shall apply, with the necessary changes, in relation to a regulation made under this section or any amendment
or withdrawal thereof.
|96A.||(1) The Director-General shall establish and
manage a museum that depicts the evolution and the history of the telecommunication sector in South Africa.
(2) The museum and its contents shall be a national asset as defined in the National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 (Act No. 25 of 1999).
(3) The content of the museum housed in the Telkom Museum on Telecommunication History shall be transferred to the museum established in terms of subsection (1).
[Section 96A inserted by section 33 of Act 64 of 2001]
(2) When developing or reviewing the strategy, the Minister shall give due regard to—
[Section 96B inserted by section 33 of Act 64 of 2001]
|97.||The Authority may by notice in writing direct a licensee to produce or furnish to the Authority, at the time and place specified in the notice, such accounts, records and other documents or information specified in such notice and relating to any matter in respect of which a duty or obligation is imposed on the licensee in terms of this Act, his or her licence or any agreement for the interconnection of telecommunication systems or the making available of telecommunication facilities as contemplated in sections 43 and 44, respectively, as the Authority may reasonably require.|
|98.||(1) The Council
may appoint any person in the service of the Authority
or any other suitable person as an inspector.
(2) A person who is not in the full-time service of the Authority and who is appointed as an inspector shall be paid such remuneration as the Minister may determine with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance.
(3) An inspector shall be provided with a certificate of appointment signed by or on behalf of the chairperson of the Council in which it is stated that he or she has been appointed an inspector in terms of this Act.
(4) When an inspector performs any function in terms of section 100, he or she shall have such certificate of appointment in his or her possession and show it at the request of any person affected by the performance of that function.
(1) An inspector appointed in terms of section 98 may, in order to determine whether the provisions of this Act or of any licence, permit, certificate or other authority in terms of this Act or of any agreement for the interconnection of telecommunication systems or the making available of telecommunication facilities as contemplated in sections 43 and 44, respectively, are being complied with, at any reasonable time and without prior notice, on the authority of a warrant, enter the premises in question and—
(2) A warrant contemplated in subsection (1) shall be issued
by a judge or a magistrate who has jurisdiction in the area where the
premises in question are situtated, and shall only be issued if it
appears from information on oath that there are reasonable grounds for
believing that the provisions contemplated in subsection (1) are being
contravened on those premises.
(1) The Authority shall investigate and adjudicate—
(2) The procedure for such investigation and adjudication
shall be as prescribed, and the Authority shall, for the purpose of such
investigation and adjudication, have the prescribed
powers with regard to the summoning and examination of witnesses and
the production of books and objects.
(4) Any person affected by an order contemplated in subsection
(3) may apply to a competent court to have the order set aside.
A person shall be guilty of an offence if he or she—
|102.||(1) Any person found guilty of
an offence contemplated in section 101 shall on
conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding R500 000, or to
imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both such fine
and such imprisonment.
(2) The court convicting a person of any offence contemplated in section 101 may, in addition to any fine or imprisonment which it may impose in terms of that subsection, declare any telecommunication facility or equipment and any other article, object or thing by means of which such offence was committed, to be forfeited to the Authority for the credit of the Telecommunications Fund: Provided that no such declaration shall be so made upon proof to the satisfaction of the court that such facility, equipment, article or thing is not the property of the person so convicted and that its owner was unable to prevent it from being used as a means to commit such offence.
|103.||The Radio Act, 1952, is hereby repealed.|
|104.||Section 42 of the General Law Amendment Act, 1957, is hereby repealed.|
Amendment of section 1 of Act 44 of 1958, as amended by section 1 of Act 56 of 1973, section 1 of Act 13 of 1974, section 1 of Act 113 of 1976, section 1 of Act 1 of 1978, section 1 of Act 37 of 1984, section 1 of Act 85 of 1991, section 3 of Act 101 of 1992 and section 1 of Act 35 of 1995
Section 1 of the Post Office Act, 1958, is hereby amended—
|106.||Section 78 of the Post Office Act, 1958, is hereby repealed.|
|107.||Section 79 of the Post Office Act, 1958, is hereby repealed.|
|108.||Section 80 of the Post Office Act, 1958, is hereby repealed.|
|109.||Sections 80A and 80B of the Post Office Act, 1958, are hereby repealed.|
|110.||Section 81 of the Post Office Act, 1958, is hereby repealed.|
|111.||Section 82 of the Post Office Act, 1958, is hereby repealed.|
Repeal of section 83 of Act 44 of 1958, as amended by section 1 of Act 50 00962, section 5 of Act 80 of 1965, section 21 of Act 80 of 1971, section 15 of Act 56 of 1973 and section 75 of Act 85 of 1991
|112.||Section 83 of the Post Office Act, 1958, is hereby repealed.|
|113.||Section 84 of the Post Office Act, 1958, is hereby repealed.|
|114.||Sections 86 and 87 of the Post Office Act, 1958, are hereby repealed.|
|115.||Section 88 of the Post Office Act, 1958, is hereby repealed.|
|116.||(1) Section 90A of the
Post Office Act, 1958, is hereby repealed.
(2) Notwithstanding the repeal of the said section 90A by subsection (1), the section shall continue to apply in respect of matters relating to the postal service.
(3) Any authorization or provision made, notice given or conditions prescribed in terms of the said section 90A before its repeal by this section shall, in respect of the telecommunications service or telecommunications company, be deemed to have been made, given or prescribed in terms of this Act.
|117.||Section 106 of the Post Office Act, 1958, is hereby repealed.|
Post Office Act, 1958, is hereby amended by the substitution for the
expression "Postmaster-General", wherever it occurs, of the expression
(2) Any reference in any law to the Postmaster-General shall be deemed to be a reference to the Director-General, Department of Communications.
|119.||The Radio Amendment Act, 1957, the Radio Amendment Act, 1962, the Radio Amendment Act, 1963, the Radio Amendment Act, 1969, and the Radio Amendment Act, 1974, are hereby repealed.|
Section 1 of the Post Office Service Act, 1974, is hereby amended—
|121.||The Post Office Service Act, 1974, is hereby amended by the substitution for the expression "Postmaster General", wherever it occurs, of the expression "DirectorGeneral".|
The following long title is hereby substituted for the long title of the Post Office Service Act, 1974:
The following section is hereby substituted for section 58 of the Post Office Service Act, 1974:
|124.||Sections 14 to 21 of the General Law Amendment Act, 1975, are hereby repealed.|
The following sections are hereby inserted in the Broadcasting Act, 1976, after section 21:
"Unauthorised use of television set for reception by radio prohibited
(2) The provisions
of subsection (1) shall not apply to a person who manufactures
television sets as a business or who acts in the execution of his
duties in the service of such a person, in so far as he uses any
television set manufactured by him, in or on the premises where it was
manufactured or on any other premises approved by the Corporation, for
the purposes of testing such set, for the reception of anything
broadcast in a broadcasting service.
Possession of television set without licence or permit prohibited
21B. (1) No person shall have in his possession any television set unless—
(2) Any person, other than a radio dealer, who sells, gives or in any other manner supplies any television set to any person other than a radio dealer, shall within fourteen days after such television set has been delivered to such other person, notify the Corporation in writing of—
(3) If an inspector is satisfied that any television set found in any person's possession is in the possession of such person in contravention of the provisions of this Act, he or she may—
(4) Any person who is aggrieved as a result of such seizure or sealing shall, in addition to any other right, have the right to appeal to the Minister against such seizure or sealing, and the Minister may either confirm the seizure or sealing or—
(1) Schedule 1 to the Legal Succession to the South African Transport Services Act, 1989, is hereby amended by the substitution for paragraph (1) of item 9 of the following paragraph:
Section 1 of the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act, 1993, is hereby amended by the substitution for the definition of "broadcasting services frequency bands" of the following definition:
Section 29 of the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act, 1993, is hereby amended—
The following section is hereby inserted in the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act, 1993, after section 66:
"Powers of Authority in relation to broadcasting signal distribution apparatus and use of television sets for certain purposes
|130.||(1) Notwithstanding any
provision of law to the contrary the Minister
may transfer so much of the Government's equity interest in Telkom as the Cabinet shall approve for the purpose
of achieving the objects of the Act as contemplated in section
2, to such transferees, in such manner and on such terms and
conditions as the Cabinet shall approve.
(2) The proceeds of such transfers shall be applied wholly or partially for the purposes mentioned in subsection (1) in such manner and amounts as the Cabinet shall approve: Provided that all proceeds not applied for the purposes mentioned in subsection (1) shall be remitted to the National Revenue Fund.
|131.||This Act shall be called the Telecommunications Act, 1996, and shall come into operation on the date fixed by the President by proclamation in the Gazette.|