South Africa’s Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) has elected its new office bearers for 2021, including a new chairperson.
Anthony Ekerold, a founding Director of BDE Attorneys and one of the longest standing board members, will take over as chairperson. Ekerold has specialised in telecommunications law for the past 10 years and brings a wealth of experience to the position.
Ekerold takes over from Greg Brophy who served his two-year tenure having been elected in 2019. Ekerold is no stranger to the industry or WASPA having served as vice-chair between 2013 and 2017, holding the chair role in 2018 and has been WASPA’s attorney of record since 2014.
“It is an honour to serve the mobile community through a strong, established platform such as WASPA,” says Ekerold. “As an industry body, WASPA has been successful in transparently serving the best interests of the consumer, together with representing mobile application and service providers, and despite the number of years I have been involved in this work, I know I still have a substantial contribution still to make and I look forward to the challenge.”
In addition to the appointment of a new chairman, the AGM elections marked two additional notable changes including the appointment of Jacqui Jones as the first female vice-chair and, for the first time, day-to-day managing executive Ilonka Badenhorst joins the board.
Jones is the CEO of one of South African mobile aggregation firms, WorldPlay. WorldPlay has played a pivotal role in the country’s battle against mobile fraud right from the outset and has a record of innovation in the mobile value-added services (MVAS) industry which stretches back to its inception in 2002.
She says: “Mobile technology and digital services are advancing, and I look forward to bringing my VAS and mobile market knowledge to the fore and as a critical component to our evolving code of conduct.”
The official 2021 WASPA office bearers include Jacqui Jones (vice-chairperson and code of conduct), (treasurer), James McNab (treasurer and telco affairs), Ilonka Badenhorst (membership), Minesh Bhugwandeen (regulatory), Conrad Geldenhuys (communications) and Michiel Huisamen (wholesale).
“The industry is continuously growing and innovating but needs to be regulated effectively,” says Ekerold. “Effectively means finding a balance between ensuring consumers are protected and creating a sustainable market for members.
“Independence is key and I look forward to working closely with our board, consumers and members to address the ever-growing need for regulatory compliance in the country.”