The Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, has recently gazetted a new policy which aims to boost the deployment of different communications networks in South Africa, including LTE and the much anticipated 5G networks.
However, the new policy also grants network providers and other licensees the right to enter, and make use of private land for the construction and deployment of network infrastructures, according to My Boadband,
Any infrastructure, such as network towers for example, that are built on private land would still belong to the network provider who built it, and property owners will be required to avoid damages to the structures built on their land/property.
Additionally, property owners will not be allowed to charge companies for building infrastructure on their property, with the exception for certain conditions including the instance where more intrusive electronic communications are required such as the construction of radio tower masts.
According to the recently gazetted policy, “In such cases, any access fee must be reasonable in proportion to the disadvantage suffered and must not enrich the property owner or exploit the electronic communications network service licensee,”
“If such electronic communications networks or facilities are damaged due to the fault of a property owner, reasonable compensation agreed to between the property owner and the electronic communications network service licensee is payable,” the policy states.
The new policy also goes on to state that network providers or licensees who intend on building communications infrastructure on private property must provide the owner with the following information:
-The planned location of the installation
-The date of commencement of such activity
-The reasons for engaging in the activity
-Environmental, water, health, and safety information
Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams made special mention to 5G technology in the policy, going on to state that these guidelines will enable the rapid deployment 5G towers across South Africa.
“Rights of way will become increasingly important to deploy massive numbers of small cells for 5G and backhaul to connect the cells,” the policy states.
Read the full gazetted by clicking the link below;