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Background on USAASA

  • USAASA is a public body as confirmed by Schedule 3A of the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999.
  • The existence, functions, duties and mandate of the Agency are governed by sections 80 – 91 of the Electronic Communications Act 36 of 2005 (“the ECA”) which came into operation on 19 July 2006. The new amendments to ECA, which have a direct bearing on governance of the Agency, came into operation on 21 May 2014

 Legislative Mandate

 In terms of the ECA the Agency must:

  •  strive to promote the goal of universal access and universal service;
  • encourage, facilitate and offer guidance in respect of any scheme to provide universal and access, universal services or telecommunication services in terms of the Reconstruction and development Plan (RDP);
  • foster the adoption and use of new methods of attaining universal access and universal service;
  • make recommendations to enable the Minister to determine what constitutes universal access, universal service and under serviced areas;
  • conduct research into and keep abreast of developments in the Republic and elsewhere on information communication technology, electronic communications services and electronic communications facilities;
  • continually survey and evaluate the extent to which universal access and service have been achieved;


  •  make recommendations to the Minister in relation to policy on any matter relating to universal access and universal service;
  • advise the Authority (ICASA) on any matter relating to universal access and universal service;
  • continually evaluate the effectiveness of this Act and things done in terms thereof towards the achievement of the goal of universal access and universal service;
  • manage the Universal Service and Access Fund (USAF) in accordance with the provisions of the Act;
  • submit annual reports in its operations, budget and expenses to the Minister;
  • utilise the USAF exclusively for the payment of certain subsidies; and
  • provide incentives to network licensees to construct operate and maintain networks in areas declared under-serviced by ICASA.