Archive for Luty, 2011

Balanced budget from Gordhan but watch out for company cars and allowances

By admin, 25 lutego, 2011, No Comment

Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan delivered a balanced budget speech yesterday (Wednesday 23 February) in which individual tax rates remain unchanged but tax brackets have been increased. Good news for individual taxpayers was personal income tax relief totalling R8.1- billion, a third income tax rebate of R2000 for individuals older than 75 years and an increase in the monthly limits for Medical Aid deductions from R670 to R720 for principal members and first dependants and from R410 to R440 for each additional dependant.

The budget also mallows for conversion of medical tax deductions to tax credits from March 2012 and for an employer’s contribution to retirement funds on behalf of an employee to be a taxable fringe benefit in the hands of the employee. Individuals will then be allowed to deduct up to 22.5 percent of their taxable income for contributions to pension, provident and retirement annuity funds with a minimum annual deduction of R12 000 and an annual maximum of R200 000.

Also positive were changes to employer lump sum benefit taxation. In the past retrenched employees or those receiving termination lump sums due to age, sickness, accident, injuries or mental incapacity could receive a R30 000 tax-free amount subject to the application of a directive from SARS. Now, in the new tax year beginning 1 March, retrenched workers receiving a lump sum will be subject to special rates for lump sums provided by an employer or funds withdrawn from pre-existing retirement funds up to the R315 000 exemption level, meaning they could obtain R345 000 tax-free.

The limit for occupational injuries and diseases (OID) will rise from R261 893 to R277 860 a year from 1 April this year.

“A significant change is the manner in which the value of company cars will be determined,” said Grant Lloyd, managing director of Pastel Payroll, part of the Softline Group and Sage Plc Group. “In the new tax year the value will be the cost of the car, excluding finance and interest charges. This means that VAT and any maintenance plan purchased is included in the original cost and company car values will have to be re-calculated from 1 March.”

The fringe benefit value of a company car is calculated at 3.5% if the vehicle was not subject to a maintenance plan at the time it was acquired by the employer and at 3.2% if there was a maintenance plan. The fringe benefit that is calculated must be reduced by any payment made to the employer by the employee other than the cost of licences, insurance, maintenance and fuel, which can no longer be deducted.

Lloyd said SARS has now moved to ensure that use of company cars and claiming of travel costs by employees using a company vehicle is more accurately represented by implementing the new requirement.

“While the car tax benefit used to be taxed at 100%, the onus is now on employers to apply either an 80% or a 20% tax rate when including the new fringe benefit value of a company car into an employee’s remuneration for the calculation of PAYE in the payroll.

“This means that the responsibility rests with the employer to indicate what percentage of the mileage the car will travel will be for business purposes. If 80% of the total kilometres travelled are for business purposes, then the employer is permitted to subject only 20% of the allowance to the employee’s tax. Only one taxable percentage may be used during the assessment year. Any change means that the fringe benefit amounts for previous periods must be re-calculated.

There are also new tax reconciliation facilities for employers to assist in the reconciliation of PAYE transactions. One of the facilities is the Employer Statement of Account (EMPSA) and the other is the Reconciliation Assistant.

Lloyd said EMPSA has the potential to help employers take control of their PAYE account at SARS. “It is structured for problem solving as problems occur, so there is no sudden panic at year end. Employers will no longer be able to submit an EMP501 on which the EMP201 liabilities, the EMP 201 payments or the tax totals from the tax certificates do not balance as has been possible in the past. The system will force employers to correct the areas that do not balance in the Reconciliation Assistant.

Lloyd recommends that employers download these guides from the SARS eFiling website and familiarise themselves with the software and its functionality. “This will ultimately be to their advantage.”

To assist SME businesses with the changes outlined in the new Budget, Softline Pastel Payroll will incorporate all of the changes to tax bracket values, travel allowances, tax relief rebates and medical aid.

A date embedded trigger in the software tax table update ensures that all of the changes will only be applied from 1 March, even if the update download is conducted before the end of February. Automated Payroll and HR software ensures that payrolls are accurate and legally compliant for the new tax year.

To find out how the Budget Speech affects your pocket, visit www.pastelpayroll.co.za and enter your current monthly salary and allowances in the online Pastel Salary Tax Calculator. Alternatively, enter http://taxcalc.pastel.co.za/p.aspx on your cell phone.

ISSUED BY: COPYWISE
Dave McDermott +27 11 478-2055 or 082 608-0019
dave@copywise.co.za

ON BEHALF OF: SOFTLINE PASTEL PAYROLL
Sumay Dippenaar +27 11 304-4190
Sumay.Dippenaar@pastelpayroll.co.za

WEBSITE: www.pastelpayroll.co.za

About The Sage Group plc

The Sage Group plc is a leading global supplier of business management software and related products and services, principally for small to medium-sized enterprises. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989. Sage has 6.3 million customers and 13,400 employees worldwide. Sage operates in over 24 countries covering the UK, Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, India and China. For further information please visit www.sage.com.

DiaMatrix makes ISP sexy with cheerleader sponsorship

By admin, 22 lutego, 2011, No Comment

DiaMatrix has announced their sponsorship with the Golden Lions’ cheerleaders this weekend. The affiliation come as a result of DiaMatrix’s interest in further exposing their brand in addition to giving ISP an eye-catching and “sexy” allure.

The internet industry is often associated with technological jargon such as RAM and KVM and not necessarily with words such as Golden Lions, rugby and gorgeous cheerleaders. However, when it comes to DiaMatrix, a Johannesburg based ISP company, hosting, domains and dedicated servers have now got a new, improved image thanks to a sponsorship with the Golden Lions’ cheerleaders.

Managing Director for DiaMatrix, Wayne Diamond commented that the company is planning a number of exciting things for the year ahead and a partnership within the rugby scene seemed a natural choice. “The cheerleaders will bring a new found attraction to the domain, hosting and dedicated server industry,” he added.

DiaMatrix has recently launched their new DX dedicated server series that start at R820 per month (including VAT) with 15GB monthly traffic allowances.

For more information on DiaMatrix services, contact Wayne Diamond or visit http://www.diamatrix.co.za

Gartner identifies seven critical questions to ask before developing a social media policy

By admin, 12 lutego, 2011, No Comment

Social media disrupts the long-standing rules of business in many ways, but crafting a social media policy is premature unless the designers of the policy answer seven critical questions first, according to Gartner, Inc.

“Social media offers tempting opportunities to interact with employees, business partners, customers, prospects and a whole host of anonymous participants on the social web,” said Carol Rozwell, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “However, those who participate in social media need guidance from their employer about the rules, responsibilities, ‘norms’ and behaviours expected of them, and these topics are commonly covered in the social media policy.”

Gartner has identified seven critical questions that designers of social media policy must ask themselves:

What Is Our Organisation’s Strategy for Social Media?

There are many possible purposes for social media. It can be used for five levels of increasingly involved interaction (ranging from monitoring to co-creation) and across four different constituencies (employees, business partners, customers and prospects, and the social web). It is critical that social media leaders determine the purpose of their initiatives before they deploy them and that those responsible for social media initiatives articulate how the organisation’s mission, strategy, values and desired outcomes inform and impact on these initiatives. A social media strategy plan is one means of conveying this information.

Who Will Write and Revise the Policy?

Some organisations assign policy writing to the CIO, others have decided it’s the general counsel’s job, while in other cases, a self-appointed committee decides to craft a policy. It’s useful to gain agreement about who is responsible, accountable, consulted and involved before beginning work on the policy and, where possible, a cross-section of the company’s population should be involved in the policy creation process. It’s important to remember that there is a difference between policy — which states do’s and don’ts at a high level — and operational processes, such as recruitment or customer support — which may use social media. These operational processes need to be flexible and changeable and adhere to the policy, but each department/activity will need to work out specific governance and process guidelines.

How Will We Vet the Policy?

Getting broad feedback on the policy serves two purposes. First, it ensures that multiple disparate interests such as legal, security, privacy and corporate branding, have been adequately addressed and that the policy is balanced. Second, it increases the amount of buy-in when a diverse group of people is asked to review and comment on the policy draft. This means that the process by which the policy will be reviewed and discussed, along with the feedback, will be incorporated into the final copy. A vetting process that includes social media makes it more likely that this will occur.

How Will We Inform Employees About Their Responsibilities?

Some organisations confuse policy creation with policy communication. A policy should be well-written and comprehensive, but it is unlikely that the policy alone will be all that is needed to instruct employees about their responsibilities for social media. A well-designed communication plan, backed up by a training program, helps to make the policy come to life so that employees understand not just what the policy says, but how it impacts on them. It also explains what the organization expects to gain from its participation in social media, which should influence employees in their social media interactions.

Who Will Be Responsible for Monitoring Social Media Employee Activities?

Once the strategy has been set, the rules have been established and the rationale for them explained, who will ensure that they are followed? Who will watch to make sure the organisation is getting the desired benefit from social media? A well-designed training and awareness programme will help with this, but managers and the organisation’s leader for social media also need to pay attention. Managers need to understand policy and assumptions and how to spot inappropriate activity, but their role is to be more of a guide to support team self-moderation, rather than employ a top-down, monitor-and-control approach.

How Will We Train Managers to Coach Employees on Social Media Use?

Some managers will have no problem supporting their employees as they navigate a myriad of social media sites. Others may have more trouble helping employees figure out the best approach for blogs, microblogs and social networking. There needs to be a plan for how the organisation will give managers the skills needed to confront and counsel employees on this sensitive subject.

How Will We Use Missteps to Refine Our Policy and Training?

As with any new communications medium, some initiatives go exceptionally well, while others run adrift or even sink. Organisations that approach social media using an organized and planned approach, consistent with the organisation’s mission, strategy and values, will be able to review how well these initiatives meet their objectives and use that insight to improve existing efforts or plan future projects better.

New mobile security platform for Android, iPhones and iPads from Sophos

By admin, 12 lutego, 2011, No Comment

Global IT security and data protection company, Sophos, has announced the availability of Sophos Mobile Control, an extension to the company’s data protection and endpoint security product lines.

A steady surge in smartphone adoption poses a new set of challenges for businesses as the workforce wants constant connectivity from their individual devices, going beyond what is company-issued. With this new offering, Sophos addresses a major pain point for businesses by safeguarding data on a broad range of popular smartphones and handheld devices, including Apple iPhones and iPads, Google Android and Windows Mobile devices.

Sophos Mobile Control provides comprehensive mobile device management, enabling the ability to simply and quickly secure, monitor and control the configuration of devices connecting to the corporate network, allowing similar levels of control and protection with company laptops and desktops.

Smartphone security is the leading concern among IT executives according to recent Forrester research. Of those IT executives polled, 75% said that they were either concerned or very concerned about the security risks associated with the adoption of these devices and up to 40% allow or support Windows Mobile, the iPhone and iPads.

“Companies are faced with an unprecedented challenge of allowing consumer devices that they may not own to access company data, while still giving employees control and use of their devices. The very notion of what defines a company endpoint has become redefined,” says Brett Myroff, CEO of regional Sophos distributor, Sophos South Africa.

“Sophos’ mission is to provide businesses with the most comprehensive threat and data protection and to do so while reducing complexity and burden to IT administrators and end users, regardless of the device type or whether it is in or out of the network.”

Designed for IT administrators to simply and quickly secure, monitor and control the configuration for smartphones running iOS, Android and Windows Mobile operating systems, Sophos Mobile Control web-based console:

  1. Secures mobile devices by centrally configuring security settings, enabling lockdown of unwanted features and remote over-the-air lock or wipe if device is lost or stolen;
  2. Enables consistent security policy enforcement, strong password policy and lock period, control and installation of applications, blocking use of cameras, browsers and the likes of YouTube;
  3. Eliminates administrative burden with a self-service portal that allows end users to register new devices and lock or wipe lost phones; and
  4. Controls the access to corporate email via a secure gate allowing only properly secured and registered devices to access email.

Johnson Controls supports paced migration that matches organizational risk

By admin, 12 lutego, 2011, No Comment

Access and ID Management Systems are continually evolving, with increasingly advanced functionality built into the software adding immense value to organisations. And because some of these systems are now modular and built on open systems, they enable organisations with non-integrated, limited functionality access and identity management systems to migrate to more sophisticated solutions at their own pace – as risk demands and budgets allow.

The key issues confronting businesses are asset protection, protection of data and intellectual property, and the safety and well-being of staff and customers. However, access and ID management systems, if integrated to HR, building management and other enterprise systems, can add significant value. The question is when, how and how fast to migrate to fully integrated solutions.

Format, software & hardware choices

For users, access and ID management systems are primarily distinguished one from another by the types of access devices used – a smartcard, proximity reader, biometrics or keyless cards. These ID format types can mostly be retained by organisations with updates to software, enabling enhanced functionality.

A consideration in the selection of software, which continues to rapidly advance, is to ensure that it interfaces to leading systems like SAP and Oracle whose HR suites are widely adopted. A quick solution to this is to look at which security solutions SAP, for example, interfaces to, and select from these ranges.

Primarily, organisations need to be able to add more sophisticated options for high risk areas – e.g., have a standard format type (say a smartcard) for everyday personnel but added security in the form of biometrics for access to a data centre or an area where important or high value assets are kept.

The software is generally acquired in a standard version and configured to the needs of the organisation. And since most ID and access systems are modular, offering CCTV, guard tours and HR system integration as add-ons to the standard system, for instance, organisations can integrate these features easily.

The hardware that makes up these systems (the readers, controllers and locks), on the other hand, comprises possibly the most expensive part of any security solution. It thus makes sense to re-use as much of the infrastructure – down to the wiring – as possible when upgrading. Happily, some ID and access systems are today built on open systems using standard protocols like BACnet, OPC, XML and MIS that offer new and more efficient ways of communicating data and can even be interfaced to Web services. Organisations can thus re-use much of their existing hardware.

Different strokes

In South Africa, and globally, ID and access management solutions vary broadly with myriad proprietary, off the shelf (local and international) solutions being implemented. How these solutions are configured and integrated into the enterprise solutions of the company depends entirely on the profile of the organisation.

In a mine, where high value assets are taken out of the ground and the operating environment is hazardous, security systems are integral to the operation of facilities. They can also play an important role in ensuring health and safety regulations are met if they are linked to HR systems. For instance, staff access to specific areas may be denied if they have not attended a mandated training course or have worked a maximum number of hours.

Where ID and access management is critical, organisations often develop proprietary systems. One company that made such an investment is platinum producer Lonmin. When it recently decided to update and upgrade its security, extending its investment by retaining its proprietary readers and identifiers, which did not use standard protocols or ID solutions, was a major consideration. Johnson Controls won the contract due to its ability to embed the drivers for this system in its hardware and incorporate it into its standard rules-based technologies.

Other organisations, like Rhodes University, need to ensure fast and complex registration of individuals whose status will change throughout the academic year. Johnson Controls assisted here too. Approximately 7 500 new students are registered annually using an online solution. It takes a mere 20 seconds to issue students with smartcards that allow them to access university faculties, residences and services (e.g., library and canteen). And these cards are dynamically updated so if there is an incident or the status of the individual changes, access is immediately removed or adjusted.

Yet other global organisations, are driven by the need to standardise systems and policies in order to enable consistent responses across all their branches or facilities.

Integration value

The returns provided by an investment in security can today be measured not only in terms of mitigation of the company’s risk – integration and the use of specialised functionality can add significant value.

For example, in a commercial building linking a basic access control system to utility controls via the building management system can provide energy management capabilities that can cut costs for the organisation as well as enhance its eco-sustainability.

Other solutions like RFID will assist in tracking expensive equipment. And interfacing to HR systems can enable automatic updating of timesheets. There are also advantages to be had from integration of access control with Health and Safety rules. And, of course, limitations can be placed on access to IT systems or information depending on the role or status of individuals.

However, whatever the needs of the organisation, a key factor to ensure the longevity of an ID and access management solution is the incorporation of best practices and standards – in the solution itself and in any development or integration work required.

Augmented vision at Mobile World Congress 2011

By admin, 12 lutego, 2011, No Comment

At this year`s Mobile World Congress (MWC) metaio`s technology will be visible all over the place. The Unifeye Mobile SDK and the world`s most advanced AR browser junaio are being featured and presented on various platforms, devices, chipsets and exhibition stands. As a highlight the first integrated markerless 3D object tracking showcase will be presented. Furthermore CTO Peter Meier is sharing his vision and thoughts in two major augmented reality sessions . And last but not least metaio will present its roadmap for the junaio 3.0 release.

At least since Google CEO Eric Schmidt coined the phrase of an “augmented humanity” – for the last time within his keynote at the DLD conference in Munich two weeks ago – there is no doubt, that enriching the real world with virtual data is one of the game changing technologies of the future. Aligned by market forecasts saying that the “AR market” could be a 732 million dollar market (Juniper Research) already in the next five years and that the worldwide smartphone sales will exceed 1.1 billion by 2013 (Parks Associates) the whole mobile industry casts an eye on augmented reality. The technology is one of the hottest topics for this year`s MWC.

For widespread and daily usage however the whole eco-system – still in a phase between infancy and an adolescent hype – has to work closely together in order to deliver useful, robust, smooth and still fascinating augmented reality experiences. The “Wow” factor will expire, but the true potential will come out even beyond our imagination.

In order to take full advantage of augmented reality and to finally bring the technology to the mainstream of smartphone users, chipset manufacturers, carriers and technology providers have to cooperate closely. Improving the performance, experience, usability and capabilities of AR applications is crucial for broad adoption and daily usage.

metaio`s AR software Unifeye Mobile SDK and their AR browser junaio offer, for example, vision based AR and go far beyond compass/GPS based approaches. However, multimedia tightly registered to the physical space triggered by planar objects is computationally intensive and requires a tight integration of hardware and software. metaio CTO Peter Meier summarizes: “With the computational challenges of an augmented vision in mind, a markerless trackable real world, cooperations between hardware and software providers become even more important.”

Working closely together with leading chipset manufacturers for an optimized software/hardware integration is where metaio puts its development efforts – besides constantly working on new tracking methods and backend approaches with many patented solutions. The latest results will be shown at the Mobile World Congress 2011.

Fibre-optic cables are more than a trench in the road

By admin, 12 lutego, 2011, No Comment

•    Consumers and business will benefit from fast connectivity
•    Vodacom Business invests in fibre infrastructure in the Cape
_______________________________________________________________

Residents in Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Paarl and Wellington are, by now, used to workers along the sides of their roads digging narrow trenches and laying down brightly coloured blue plastic ‘tubing’.  In fact, this is the first roll-out of Vodacom Business’s fibre-optic network in the area.

Fibre-optic cabling is important to applications like the Internet, telephone systems and, in some countries, cable TV.

The current network consists of:
•    23 kilometres of cable in Stellenbosch  – from Kuilsriver to Stellenbosch and approximately half of the Stellenbosch to Somerset West road
•    48 kilometres of cable in Somerset West including the remaining half of the Stellenbosch/Somerset West Road,  and the N2 to Mitchells Plain)
•    49 kilometres in Paarl and Wellington.
•    38km of Optic Spurs in Stellenbosch. Paarl and Somerset West

Ermano Quartero, Managing Executive Products and Marketing at Vodacom Business says the fibre-optic cabling brings customers easy, rapid transfer of large amounts of data and is ideal for services that require smooth data provisioning, such as video conferencing.

“We are constantly requested by consumers and companies for increased Internet bandwidth and faster connectivity. Having fibre in these areas makes it possible for our customers to have access to the vast range of services we offer, such as voice, video and networked storage and hosting,” says Quartero.

Fiber optic cabling has advantages over standard copper coaxial cables, in that it can transmit larger quantities of data with far less loss, is able to maintain signals over long distances, carries little risk of corrosion, and is virtually free from interference.

“To provide customers with the services they demand we need a high-bandwidth, low-cost, reliable last-mile service. Vodacom Business is able to now meet these needs,” says Quartero. “The fibre-optic cables now installed in the Paarl-Wellington-Stellenbosch area bring high-speed, business-quality connectivity to the many companies situated in this important hub and open a wide variety of enterprise-class solutions to them.”

Visit us at www.vodacombusiness.co.za

Issued on behalf of:
Ermano Quartero
Managing Executive Products and Marketing  Vodacom Business

Issued by:
Bette Kun
bettekun@gmail.com
082 576 9739

EOH supports Maths Centre programme

By admin, 10 lutego, 2011, No Comment

“I respect mathematics, I respect science and I respect myself,” was the creed at Kabelo Primary School, Katlehong in the South of Johannesburg, one of 13 schools that are receiving support from IT solutions provider EOH in a numeracy and natural science programme led by the Maths Centre. EOH is investing several million into the project that is aimed at increasing numeracy skills in primary schools.

Matthews Phosa, Non-Executive Chairman of EOH says the project is an investment into the future of our children. “Partnerships such as these, involving private sector, teachers, learners and the community will leave a legacy for the future to follow. Science and mathematics are key to opening the doors of the future. You have a responsibility to society, to be of service to the nation by learning the skills you will need to face the future with confidence,” Phosa said to a group of pupils at Kabelo Primary School.

Despite the national pass rate increasing by nearly seven percent, there are still too few scholars writing and passing maths and science. The recent Matric results for 2010 showed that 47.8 percent of pupils passed the maths and physical science exams, with 81 374 candidates out of 641 533 achieving a pass rate of 40 percent or more in maths granting them exemption to be considered for university entrance.

EOH embarked on the project in April 2010, and the results thus far have been astounding. “The project was rolled out to ten primary schools and three special needs schools in Katlehong and Thokoza in the South of Johannesburg, affecting 140 teachers and 4 863 learners. Each of the schools received a maths and science kit, CD Rom learner books and activity file, with the special needs schools each receiving a computer and data projector, tablet pens as well as maths and physical science software,” says Asher Bohbot, CEO of EOH.

The three year project saw the Maths Centre roll out its methodology to the foundation phases (grades 1 to 3) of the schools during its first year. The project will then expand in the second year to include grades 4, 5 and 6 with the third year of the project, focussing on Grade 7. “We started the project by performing baseline testing on the learners to benchmark our progress. Since then post tests have revealed an average increase in numeracy competency of 13%, with the special needs schools performing above and beyond our expectations,” says Sharanjeet Shan, the National Executive Director of Maths Centre.

“Maths and science are a standard requirement needed to grant an individual access into the formal job sector, making it a crucial skill to possess. The maths centre programme offers a long term solution to the maths and science skills shortage prevalent in South Africa, making it a natural avenue for EOH to grow and support. I would like to urge all involved to utilise the funds available and to convert it into tangible skills that will be of value to the future of the children,” says Bohbot.

Sharanjeet Shan, urges teachers to annually improve on a minimum of 50% of the gaps between the current level of understanding that teachers possess and what is needed to teach mathematics and science. “It is crucial for teachers to constantly increase their understanding of maths and science content and to broaden the total backdrop of skills required to teach these two disciplines effectively. It is necessary to organise teaching content into a learning plan with definitive objectives and outcomes that the children will understand and internalise in order to achieve numeracy,” says Shan.

Mathematics is what makes the universe tick. “At the end of the day, all of us, whether you are a politician, a CEO or a teacher, we need to remember that it is our generation’s responsibility to pass the knowledge we have learnt in our lives, to the next generation, so each of them have the skills to live, love and leave a legacy behind,” concludes Shan.

IBM Global Business Services placed in leadership quadrant by leading analyst firm

By admin, 10 lutego, 2011, No Comment

IBM Global Business Services has been positioned in the leaders quadrant in its “Magic Quadrant for Global Business Intelligence and Performance Management Service Providers, February 2011″ for its Business Analytics and Optimisation (BAO) service line by Gartner.

“Analytics and business intelligence are about helping clients build better products and services and helping society solve difficult challenges, ranging from traffic congestion to food traceability to managing financial risk,” said Claas Kuehnemann, Managing Partner for Sub-Saharan Africa, IBM Global Business Services. “IBM’s capabilities in this key area draw on the expertise of the largest mathematics department in global industry, 8,000 consultants dedicated to business analytics and a software business that has invested more than $14 billion in 24 analytics acquisitions during the past five years – all dedicated to helping our clients take action through analytics.”

Market Definition/Description

Gartner’s definition of Business Intelligence, Analytics and Performance Management include “professional services offerings to optimize an enterprise’s processes and integrate related technology applications and platforms, which include application-related work.”

In positioning vendors in its Magic Quadrant, Gartner evaluates completeness of vision and ability to execute.

ICASA hosting the Annual General Meeting

By admin, 10 lutego, 2011, No Comment

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) will host an annual general meeting to merge the CRASA and SAPRA at the end of March 2011.

The decision to merge the two regulatory associations stems from the resolution of SADC ICT Ministers held in Swakopmund, Namibia in 2009. Both CRASA and SAPRA derive their mandate from the SADC Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology that calls for the creation of a regulatory body that would act as a regional advisory body on communications and postal regulation.

CRASA’s Mandate and Programmes

CRASA draws its membership from 13 SADC countries, namely Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritiius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It has four associate members, namely Nokia Siemens Network, the Vodacom Group, Angola Telecoms and Ericsson.

Its objectives include:

  1. Promoting capacity building of the members and Associate Members, broaden participation in the ICT sector and enhance lobbying activities with ICT policy makers at national and regional level
  2. Acting as an effective and common voice of the SADC region on ICT policy and regulatory matters
  3. Acting as an effective administration structure and mobilise necessary resources to pursue goals of the Association and long-term sustainability

In the past year, CRASA has been involved in, among others:

  1. Reviewing the model guidelines on ICT Consumer protection and Obligations to promote access of socially excluded people to ICT services
  2. Draft Digital broadcasting Migration Action Plan to facilitate southern Africa’s migration from the analogue to the digital platform
  3. Review of the SADC Frequency Band Plan for the development and efficient use of the radio frequency spectrum in Southern Africa

SADC Home and Away Roaming to reduce international roaming costs

SAPRA’s Mandate and Programmes

The Southern African Postal Regulatory Association (SAPRA) draws its membership from Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Its mandate is to act as a regional advisory body in the regulation of postal services in Southern Africa. SAPRA’s objectives include the following:

  1. Facilitate the harmonisation of postal regulatory frameworks in Southern Africa
  2. Promote establishment and operation of efficient, adequate, affordable and cost-effective postal services in Southern Africa
  3. Ensure the provision of cost-effective universal postal services by operators
  4. Promote reforms in the postal sector
  5. Develop common standards of services and operations that are compatible with international standards
  6. Improve postal security in the region, and
  7. Establish and equitable framework to promote the provisions of non-reserve services

Benefits of a Merged Regulatory Association

Country-member regulators will benefit from the economies of scale by paying one subscription/membership fee to a single regional regulatory association. Secondly, a merged regulator for communications and postal sectors will see the development of harmonised regulations as a result of increased cooperation and exchange of information among members.

Consumers and the general populace of Southern Africa stand to benefit from harmonised and standardised regulations. When people travel from one country to another they can expect the same standards and treatment from service providers with regard to communications and postal services.

Investors, operators and licensees stand to benefit from a merged regulatory association as their business operations across Southern Africa will be enhanced by the creation of a harmonised regulatory environment. This would pave the way to attract local and off-shore investors to Southern Africa.

Country-to-Country Relations in Southern Africa stand to benefit from increased co-operation and interaction among the region’s regulators of the communications and postal sectors. As a result, the sub-continent’s long-term goal of economic integration will thus be enhanced.

For more information on the Conference or related matters, please contact Ms Shoeshoe Mopeli on (011) 566 3065 or Ms Nkuli Woko on (011) 566 3057.

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