South Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) is reminding Internet users that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are providers of essential services and therefore fully-functional during all Covid-19 lockdown phases.
With the president confirming in his 24 May address to the nation that the country will move to Level 3 of the current Covid-19 lockdown, further opening up the economy, ISPA says ISPs can already provide all their usual ICT services and stand ready to assist individual, SME and corporate users with the products, services and advice that can help more of us work from home in the new Covid-19 reality.
While ISPs should always attempt to provision services remotely, directions gazetted in early May under the Disaster Management Act 2002 by the Acting Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies specifically allow for the retail sale of ICT products and services and provide guidance as to how products and services must be provided to the public moving forward.
ICT products must be sanitised before being provided to consumers, warehouse equipment must be sanitised daily, and staff must be thermally screened daily. When it comes to the installation of ICT products and services at customers’ homes and businesses, technicians must keep at least 1,5m away from the customer, sanitise throughout the day and be provided with cloth masks.
In the ICT retail environment, the gazetted directions refer to a ratio of one consultant per customer, physical distancing and discourage the use of cash in customer transactions. Again, masks are paramount.
“Working from home and wearing cloth masks are the standout features of this pandemic and all ISPA members understand the importance of both,” says ISPA co-chair, Guy Halse.
“Our members are in a unique position to play a positive role in helping South Africa win the war on Covid-19 and look forward to getting South Africans back to work as quickly as possible through the efficient provision of the ICT services that oil modern economies,” he concludes.