South Africa

Disaster Management Act, 2002

Directions on the Risk-Adjusted Strategy for the Communications and Digital Technologies Sector

Government Notice 484 of 2020

I, Jackson Mthembu, Acting Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, hereby, under regulation 4(10) of the Regulations published in Government Notice No. R480 , Government Gazette No. 43258 of 29 April 2020, and made under section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002), make Directions on the Risk-Adjusted Strategy for the Communications and Digital Technologies Sector for the duration of national state of disaster, as indicated in the Schedule.Mr Jackson Mthembu (MP)Acting Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies

1. Interpretation

In these Directions, a word or expression bears the meaning assigned to it in the Electronic Communications Act, 2005 (Act No. 36 of 2005), the Postal Services Act, 1998 (Act No. 124 of 1998), the Broadcasting Act, 1999 (Act No. 4 of 1999) and the Regulations published in Government Notice No. R480, Government Gazette No. 43258 of 29 April 2020, and made under section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002), unless the context otherwise indicates.


2. Risk-Adjusted Strategy

2.1The President announced the COVID-19 Risk-Adjusted Strategy on 23 April 2020 that provides for a responsive guide to the social, educational and economic activities which can be undertaken during the state of national disaster.
2.2These Directions apply in addition to the existing restrictions and rules that are in place across all sectors and alert levels including COVID-19 health protocols and sanitisation requirements.


3. Opening of communications and digital technologies sectors and mitigation measures

3.1PurposeThe purpose of these Directions is to provide further information regarding which sectors and sub-sectors of the communications and digital technologies sector are allowed to operate at alert levels 5 and 4.
3.2Mitigation measuresThese Directions include mitigation measures that are necessary to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. The mitigation measures according to level, sector and subsector are as follows:
LEVEL 5
Sectors and sub-sectors Mitigation measures
Electronic communications services and network services (telecommunications service and infrastructure)(ICT) The mitigation measures applicable to level 4 apply to level 5
Production and sale of airtime  
All telecommunications services and infrastructure that includes electronic communications services, electronic communications network services, electronic communications networks and electronic communications facilities as defined under the Electronic Communications Act, 2005 and include call centres critical for the support of such services.

Electronic communications services exclude retail shops that must remain closed.

Electronic communications services are limited to online services noting that no physical collection or deliveries are permitted.
 
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services to entities and institutions engaged in delivering Level 5 services  
ICT devices (such as desktops, laptops, modems and other devices) for education purposes designated as essential goods and services for the functioning of higher education institutions. The transportation of such goods between suppliers and higher education institutions and between higher education institutions and identified individuals and institutions declared essential services.  
Broadcasting services The mitigation measures applicable to level 4 apply to level 5.
Broadcasting infrastructure and services, including call centres critical for the support of such services.  
Postal services The mitigation measures applicable to level 4 apply to level 5.
Postal services and courier services related to the transportation of medical products.  
Financial services: Provision of banking services by the South African Postbank.  
Payment of social grants by the South African Post Office through the South African Postbank, post office branches and other methods.  
LEVEL 4
Sectors and sub-sectors Mitigation measures
Electronic communications services and network services (telecommunications service and infrastructure)(ICT) Implement workplace mitigation measures in accordance with Regulation 16(6).

Any activity may be restricted or additional mitigation measures may be introduced for high risk areas.
Manufacturing: Manufacturing of telecommunications infrastructure including electronic communications facilities and enduser and subscriber equipment All Directions in respect of health protocols and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 relevant to manufacturing.
Construction and related services:
Telecommunications infrastructure, electronic communications facilities including the resumption of construction and fitting out of data centres currently being built
All Directions in respect of health protocols and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 relevant to construction.
Wholesale and retail, including stores, spaza shops, eCommerce and informal traders:

Production and sale of airtime and data, Online and physical retail sale, delivery, collection and replacement of ICT equipment, networking equipment, end-user and subscriber equipment and ancillary equipment to support Level 4 services and to facilitate work-from-home arrangements and access to broadcasting including set-top-boxes, computers, mobile telephones and other home office equipment, including installation, maintenance and repair
ICT/End-user/Subscriber equipment value chain:

In addition to the requirements of Regulation 28(2), the following mitigation measures apply:

• All containers / shipments must on arrival be sanitised before handover;

• all equipment and materials used at the warehouse must be sanitised daily;

• all products must be sanitised before being packaged for consumers;

• all staff must be thermal scanned daily and must sanitise throughout the day;

• all staff must be equipped with cloth face masks;

• all staff must maintain adequate floor space, queuing distance and physical distancing as prescribed in the Regulations;

• all equipment and materials used must be sanitised daily;

• all Directions in respect of health protocols and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 must be adhered to from packaging and distribution to delivery.

Retail stores/ franchised stores of electronic communications network service licensees:

In addition to the requirements of Regulation 28(2) the following mitigation measures apply:

• Staff must ensure adequate floor space, queuing distance and physical distancing as prescribed in the Regulations;

• staff must, where possible, work in shifts with some staff members working from home to assist or call customers remotely;

• one customer per consultant ratio, in addition to general social distancing requirements;

• all must sanitise before entering the store;

• all must wear cloth face masks as prescribed in the Regulations;

• cash payments must be discouraged;

• customers and staff must be screened;

• points of entrance and exit must be restricted to enable screening;

• perspex dividers must be installed in stores; and

• there must be clear signage in stores highlighting hygiene expectations.

Installation, maintenance and repairs:

The following apply to technicians that do onsite installations and repairs:

• Technicians must be thermal scanned daily and must sanitise throughout the day;

• all equipment and materials used must be sanitised daily;

• technicians must be equipped with masks daily;

• technicians must keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from the customer when installing or repairing end-user and subscriber equipment; and

• all Directions in respect of health protocols and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 must be adhered to.
All telecommunication services and infrastructure -

a) that include electronic communications services, electronic communications network services, electronic communications networks and electronic communications facilities as defined under the Electronic Communications Act, 2005;

b) that include directly related activities and industry sectors (such as steel, electrical and equipment);

c) that include call centres,

required to support the construction, provision, maintenance and delivery of such services and network services
Electronic communications services and electronic communications network services value chain including directly related activities and industry sectors and call centres;

Compliance with all Directions in respect of health protocols and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 including the following:

• All containers / shipments must, on arrival be sanitised before handover;

• all electronic communications facilities, equipment and materials used must be sanitised daily;

• all products must be sanitised before being packaged for consumers;

• all staff must be thermal scanned daily and must sanitise throughout the day;

• all staff must be equipped with masks daily; and

• all staff must maintain adequate floor space, queuing distance and physical distancing as prescribed in the Regulations.

The above requirements also apply to persons, equipment and material of directly related activities and industry sectors (such as steel, electrical and equipment).
Information and Communications Technology services for all private and business customers Same as mitigation measures applicable to ‘ICT/End-user/Subscriber equipment value chain’ and ‘Installation, maintenance and repair’.
Broadcasting services Implement workplace mitigation measures in accordance with Regulation 16(6).

Any activity may be restricted or additional mitigation measures may be introduced for high risk areas.
Online services All Directions in respect of health protocols and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 must be adhered to.
Productions for local broadcast and live streaming in support of COVID-19 subject to Directions All Directions in respect of health protocols and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 must be adhered to.
Broadcasting services All Directions in respect of health protocols and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 must be adhered to.
Advertising agencies All Directions in respect of health protocols and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 adhered to.
Film and television productions using local cast and crew. This will include jobs throughout the value chain of production including those required for post-production such as editors, sound, special effects and animators who may work in specialised studios All Directions in respect of health protocols and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 must be adhered to including any additional requirements imposed by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture and the Department of Health.

The following apply to content production:

• broadcasters may elect to resume content production based on risk assessment;

• broadcasters must limit content production to content that can be produced with minimal risk i.e. Telenovelas shot in a studio environment, that are easier to handle than location shoots; and

• broadcasters must identify solutions to ensure the protection of performers and production crews.

Organisation at high risk of transmission should retain, to the extent possible, a work from home approach.

Each broadcaster must work closely with the respective production companies and the relevant industry bodies to determine the most appropriate
"return to production" strategy and feasible implementation dates.
Postal services Implement workplace mitigation measures in accordance with Regulation 16(6).

Any activity may be restricted or additional mitigation measures may be introduced for high risk areas.
Courier services related to the transportation of medical products, ICT equipment and other end-user and subscriber equipment and to support other Level 4 services. Courier Services:

In addition to the requirement in
Regulation 5(7), the following apply to couriers:

• Couriers must be thermal scanned daily and must sanitise throughout the day;

• all equipment and materials used must be sanitised daily;

• courier drivers must be equipped with masks daily;

• couriers must keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from the customer when delivering end user and subscriber equipment;

• sanitisation processes must be in place upon actual delivery of end-user and subscriber equipment to consumers;

• vehicle must be sanitised daily before the commencement of a shift; and

• all Directions in respect of health protocols and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 must be adhered to from packaging and distribution to delivery.
Reserved and unreserved postal services. Postal services value chain:

Compliance with all Directions in respect of health protocols and the exposure of persons to COVID-19 including:

• All containers / shipments arriving must be sanitised before handover;

• all equipment and materials used must be sanitised daily;

• all mail and parcels must be sanitised when sorted and before being packaged for consumers;

• all staff must be thermal scanned daily and must sanitise throughout the day;

• all staff must be equipped with masks daily; and

• all staff must maintain adequate floor space, queuing distance and physical distancing as prescribed in the Regulations.

Post Office/ Postbank branches and postal services retail stores:

In addition to the requirements of Regulation 28(2) the following mitigation measures apply:

• Staff must ensure adequate floor space, queuing distance and physical distancing as prescribed in the Regulations;

• Staff must, where possible, work in shifts with some staff members working from home to assist or call customers remotely;

• there must be one customer per employee ratio (excluding post offices), in addition to general social distancing requirements;

• all must sanitise before entering the store as prescribed in the Regulations;

• all must wear cloth face masks as prescribed in the Regulations;

• cash payments must be discouraged;

• customers and staff must be screened;

• points of entrance and exit must be restricted to enable screening;

• perspex dividers must be installed in stores (excluding sites that are already equipped with adequate screens ); and

• there must be clear signage in stores highlighting hygiene expectations.

Additional measures for Post Office/ Postbank branches:

In addition to the requirements of Regulation 28(2) the following mitigation measures apply:

• Not more than 30% of staff must be allowed to enter the workplace at the same time at any point;

• Different start and end times should be implemented;

• No more that 882 (almost 60%) of Post Office branches may be open.
Financial services: Provision of banking services by the South African Postbank Same as mitigation measures applicable to post offices.
Payment of social grants by the South African Post Office through the South African Postbank, post office branches and other methods Same as mitigation measures applicable to post offices.


4. Monitoring and compliance

Compliance with these Directions will be monitored as follows:(a)Sector specific regulators;(b)Industry Representative Bodies using their Codes of Conduct and disciplinary mechanisms, must monitor compliance with the Directions by their members; and(c)Sector licensees and other entities that are participants in the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) COVID-19 Project Management Office will be requested to report on a weekly basis on their compliance with the Directions.


5. Commencement

These Directions will come into operation on the date of publication in the Government Gazette.

AttachmentSize
PDF icon 6161.pdf127.54 KB