South Africa’s Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) has elected the Management Committee for 2016 that will represent the interests of South Africa’s wireless application service providers (WASPs) while also working towards the Association’s consumer protection mandate.
Current WASPA Chairman Casper de Villiers is joined by 2016 Board members Anthony Ekerold (Vice Chairman, Legal), Jacqui Jones (Treasurer), James McNab (Code of Conduct), Ongopotse Motlhanke (Communications), Janene Matsukis (Lobbying) and Riccardo Vallaro (Membership). The members were elected at the recent WASPA Annual General Meeting (AGM) which took place in Randburg in early March 2016.
“The new WASPA Board perfectly illustrates that a healthy balance can be struck between the requirement for stable continuity and the need for fresh input,” says WASPA GM, Ilonka Badenhorst.
The impressive human capital that now exists within the WASPA Board includes admitted attorneys, entrepreneurs, CEOs and company directors, strategic marketers, regulatory and compliance specialists and finance professionals. “It can only be good for all mobile industry stakeholders – WASPs and consumers included – that WASPA is managed by such talent,” says Badenhorst.
Of particular interest at the WASPA AGM was the positive fact that 17 new members have joined WASPA since the previous AGM in February 2015. The total number of WASPA members now stands at 309. “The fact that a 12-year-old industry association is still attracting new members at double-digit rates annually means the country’s WASPs see value in WASPA’s performance,” adds Badenhorst.
To illustrate, it was revealed at the AGM that the total number of queries lodged via the WASPA Unsubscribe Query System (WUQS) for 2015 amounted to 292 905. This is significantly down from 2014’s comparable figure of 472 721. This positive trend is the result of double opt-in measures put in place by the mobile networks, stronger regulation of the market place through regular fine-tuning of the WASPA Code of Conduct and proactive monitoring by WASPA’s Media Monitor to remove non-compliant member campaigns from the marketplace before consumers flag potential issues.
A non-profit organisation, WASPA was founded on 26 August 2004 in South Africa. Its role is fully-supported and its Code of Conduct is endorsed by SA network operators: Cell C, MTN, Vodacom and Telkom Mobile. Fostering consumer confidence in the WASP industry through responsible self-regulation is a key focus of the Association.