The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Dr Siyabonga Cwele has challenged the new board of directors of the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) to come up with strategies to create space for black industrialists in the ICT sector.

The minister issued his challenge at a board induction session yesterday, following the appointment of the new board by Cabinet in August 2015.

Cwele urged the USAASA Board to create space for black industrialists while they continue to pursue their mandate of increasing access to modern communication tools and services to all citizens, especially those in rural areas.

“We would like to see transformation informing your decisions as you allocate your resources,” Cwele says. “As society increasingly becomes digitally inclusive, localisation of gadgets becomes an important area of development. We need to be able to manufacture affordable basic gadgets.”

USAASA chairperson, Pumla Radebe, said the previous board did well to stabilise the agency.

“We successfully contributed to the work of government and we actively participated in the National ICT Policy Review and the Amendment of the Electronic Communications Act,” she says. “This new board has the skills and experience to take this work forward.”

Members of the new USAASA board are:

Mrs Pumla Radebe – Chairperson
Mr Mawethu Cawe – Deputy Chairperson
Ms Tshegofatso Maloka
Adv Lungelwa Shandu
Mr Malose Kekana
Mr Nqabekhaya Nqandela