The fact that 90% of disputes lodged with ISPA by South African Internet consumers are resolved through the internet industry association’s informal mediation process is one of the reasons to join the 235-member Industry Representative Body (IRB).

This is the word from ISPA chair Sasha Booth-Beharilal, who points out that the ISPA Code of Conduct holds members to a high standard. However, when things go awry, it’s comforting for ISPA members to know that a zero-cost process exists to help escalate unresolved consumer-related challenges such as billing disputes and contractual issues.

“Fewer than 5% of consumer disputes lodged with ISPA go to formal adjudication,” she says. “The overwhelming majority are resolved informally through the sterling efforts of the ISPA Secretariat which works hard to achieve win-win outcomes for consumers and ISPA members.

“Effective dispute resolution that costs the parties nothing is exceptionally rare and the ISPA medication process is highly-valued by long-standing ISPA members,” adds Booth-Beharilal.

There are many other reasons to join the IRB that has possibly done the most to level the ICT (information and communications technologies) playing fields in South Africa:

ISPA’s status as the only industry body recognised by the government under the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act means ISPA’s members continue to enjoy limitations on liability for hosted content and third-party traffic carried on their networks. ISPA’s take-down notice procedure and enforceable Code of Conduct enables ISPA to maintain its recognition as an IRB.

ISPA members are also able to network and stay on top of the latest industry developments at the ISPA-organised iWeek, the Internet industry event which for over 20 years has helped address the diverse needs of the local internet community.

For ISPs wanting to make a positive contribution to a fair legislative framework, there is strength and legal support in numbers. ISPA’s regulatory team is always on top of the country’s legal and regulatory framework as it pertains to members and their rights and responsibilities.

Finally, the ISPA logo is gaining traction as a mark of trust. For consumers, it creates confidence as a mark they can trust to uphold their rights.

“An ISPA logo displayed on the website of an ISPA member engaged in the business of the internet is a good indication that there are remedies for the consumer when things go wrong. For the ISPA member, the logo reminds them that they are part of an effective support network,” Booth-Beharilal concludes.

From 168 small, medium and large internet and access providers in February 2015, ISPA membership in February 2024 now stands at some 235 firms who have committed themselves to upholding the ISPA Code of Conduct.

Consumers can verify ISPA membership via the ISPA website at the link: