Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has gazetted a new policy on the deployment of communications networks in South Africa, and has allowed the public comment on the proposal before implementation. The policy gives mobile networks and other licensees the right to select, enter, and use public or private land for the deployment of their network infrastructure.
The policy aims to accommodate the accelerated deployment of electronic communications networks, such as LTE and 5G networks. Any infrastructure built on this land would belong to the network which built it, and property owners are directed to avoid damage to the facilities built on their property.
Additionally, owners may not charge companies for building infrastructure on their property, except under certain conditions. These include cases where more intrusive electronic communications networks or facilities, such as masts, are erected on a property.
It should be noted that this policy is currently open to written comments from interested parties, and will be until 30 working days after the date of publication. Comments submitted after this date will be disregarded.