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Cabinet has granted concurrence for the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Mondli Gungubele, to gazette the analogue switch off date for South Africa.

This was announced by Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, at a Post Cabinet media briefing held in Pretoria on Thursday.

The Minister said that Cabinet received an update on the Broadcast Digital Migration programme, as the country prepares for the Analogue Switch-Off and the consultation undertaken with affected parties, including members of the public.

“Cabinet noted the progress made with the installation of set-top boxes for qualifying beneficiary households who applied for government assistance. Cabinet granted concurrence for the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies to gazette  the analogue switch off date for South Africa,” she said.

White Paper on Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biodiversity

Cabinet has approved the White Paper on Conservation and Sustainable use of South Africa’s Biodiversity. 

South Africa is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and the White Paper will help the country take advantage of its rich biodiversity.

“It emphasises the importance of the biodiversity sector to South Africa’s economic growth, conservation and equity in the biodiversity economy. The White Paper also highlights the importance of protecting indegionous knowledge and biodiversity,” Minister Ntshavheni said.

Draft Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) and Cooperatives Funding Policy

Cabinet has also approved the publication of the Draft SMMEs and Cooperatives Funding Policy for public comments.

The forms part of other interventions to support small businesses including the National Integrated Small Enterprise Development Framework (NISED) that was approved by Cabinet in 2022.

The draft policy proposes 17 critical interventions that will enable the estimated 3.2 million SMMEs and 43,000 cooperatives in the country to thrive. These interventions include addressing fragmented financial support mechanisms, consolidating a database of small businesses, improving access to start-up capital and increasing business development support.

“Government has prioritised SMMEs and co-operatives support because these businesses create the most jobs and provide the most oportunities for people to earn a living. The draft policy will be published in the government gazette and well as the website of the Department of Small Business Development on www.dsbd.gov.za,” the Minister said.

Water and Sanitation Framework

Cabinet has also approved the Water and Sanitation Framework that will be used as a guide on how sanitation services are planned, managed and regulated in a more equitable manner and aligned to technological developments.

The Framework was also developed to respond to the service delivery challenges witnessed in ageing and deteriorating infrastructure with poor maintenance, and infrastructure that was not designed to service many people. 

“This Framework will also be used to address service delivery gaps and it provides measures to lower the high number of households that are not served with adequate and safe sanitation in South Africa, and this includes outlawing the bucket system in informal settlements,” the Minister said.

The Framework further prescribes minimum qualifications and experience for process controllers at waste water treatment works and experience requirements for waste water treatment plant managers. 

Policy and Policy Direction on Rapid Deployment of Electronic Communications Networks and Facilities

Cabinet further approved the Policy and Policy Direction on Rapid Deployment of Electronic Communications Networks and Facitilites.

The purpose of the Policy and Policy Direction is to direct the ICASA to prescribe regulations on procedures and processes for resolving disputes that may arise between an electronic communications network service licensee and any landowner during the deployment of electronic communications networks and facilities. 

“Efficient deployment of electronic communications networks is a priority for the government as it supports the country’s move towards digital economy,” the Minister said. – SAnews.gov.za

Source of original article: SAnews – South African News (www.sanews.gov.za).
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