13 May 2005
The empowerment charter for the information and communications industries has been delivered to Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri for final approval. It is expected to be in operation later this year.
ICT Empowerment Charter Working Group chair Dali Mpofu said that a final round of consultations with industry stakeholders would be held once the minster had presented the charter to Cabinet.
The process of drawing up the charter has taken two years. One of the major issues has been that of “Double Jeopardy”, which refers to a situation in which many ICT companies find themselves, where they may be subject to the guidelines of two sectoral charters.
The ICT sector is not homogeneous, like some other sectors that have released charters. Unlike the mining sector, for example, there is a wide range of business sizes, from the very small to very large multinationals.
The process of drawing a the charter has been described as a uniquely consultatitive and inclusive process.
The working group that wrote the charter was drawn from various industry associations, including the Black IT Forum, the SA Communications Forum, the Computer Society of SA, the Electronic Industries Federation, Information Industry SA, the Information Technology Association and the SA chamber of Business.