Six week ICASA strike is over

South Africa’s Independent Communications Authority (Icasa) has announced it’s reached an agreement with employees to bring a six-week stay-away to an end.

“The management of ICASA has always been open to communication with staff representatives to ensure that all matters are resolved and therefore confirms that the engagements have been fruitful and led to these developments,” Icasa said in a media statement.

Staff at the regulator went on strike in June, demanding a 7% pay increase as well as bonus pay – which it wanted back-paid since 2014.

In addition to the salary increase, the striking staff also wanted a number of human resource policies scrapped, such as Icasa’s performance management system.

Icasa said the strike didn’t really affect that operation of the regulator, but none the less explained that the organisation is back to full strength.

“Even though there was little interruption on business operations during the time of strike, stakeholders are informed that Icasa is now operating with the full complement of staff to ensure that all South Africans have access to a wide range of communication services at affordable prices,” it said.

Icasa has also been in the news lately after it announced that it made a decision to put spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz and 2.6 GHz bands up for auction.

In July, the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele voiced his displeasure about the auction, and even announced his intention to launch into legal action over it.

Icasa said in a statement that it noted the concerns from the Minister and his intended legal action, but has no intention of addressing the Minister’s stance on the matter in the media.

“[Icasa] has no intention to enter into a media debate with the Minister or any of the stakeholders about the correctness of its decision, suffice to say that the Authority believes that it has, in making this decision, adhered to all the requirements as prescribed in terms of the current applicable laws,” it said in a statement at the time.


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