Statement by the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Hon Mondli Gungubele on the purported government block of Starlink
The Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Hon Mondli Gungubele has noted reports from various news outlets attributed to some opposition party that government is blocking the operation of a satellite internet service company, Starlink owned by the global business magnate and investor Elon Musk.
The Department wishes to place it on record that in order to operate an electronic communications network such as satellite to offer a service in South Africa, an individual Electronic Communications Network Service (iECNS) license and an individual Electronic Communications Service (iECS) license that are used in conjunction with a Radio Frequency Spectrum license are a requirement. These are obtainable on application from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). The Minister wishes to state categorically that the custodian of the licensing process is the Authority, (ICASA).
The Authority has advised the Minister that such applications have not been received from Starlink to date. It is therefore not true that government is blocking the operation of Starlink in South Africa. Any interested party wishing to apply for a license, including Starlink, may through appropriate channels, approach the Authority with its application and comply with the prevailing legislation in the country.