On 11 February 2019, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) issued a statement indicating that it has decided to make certain amendments to the the End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Amendement Regulations, 2018 (the Regulations). According to the statement, the purpose of the amendments is “to bring certainty and to ensure that the enforcement and implementation of the Regulations does not result in unintended consequences for licensees and consumers”.
The amendments that have been made – which are to be published in the Government Gazette in due course – are as follows:
- Usage notifications: Licensees will be required to provide consumers with an option to opt-out of usage depletion notifications for voice, SMS and data services.
- Out-of-bundle billing: Licensees will be required to provide consumers with an option to opt-in or opt-out of out-of-bundle data billing.
- Transfer of data: The word ‘network’ has been replaced with ‘electronic communications licensee’ to avoid confusion.
The effective date for the Regulations coming into force is 28 February 2019. According to the Reasons Document for the Regulations, published by ICASA, the Regulations were necessitated by general concerns raised by various stakeholders, including consumer groups and social media campaigns, with regard to data expiry rules and high out-of-bundle rates and rules applied by licensees.
The statement issued by ICASA is accessible here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].