The Universal Service and Access Fund (USAF) was established under the Electronic Communications Act (ECA) to fund projects and programmes that strive to achieve universal service and access to ICTs by all South African citizens.
In accordance with the ECA, this fund is utilised exclusively for payment of subsidies for:
- Assistance of needy persons towards the cost of the provision to or the use by them of broadcasting and electronic communications services,
- Financing the construction or extension of electronic communications networks in under-serviced areas,
- The procurement of broadcasting and electronic communications network services and access to electronic communications networks for schools and further education and training institutions,
- The establishment and operation of broadcasting services and the establishment and operation of, including training of and the payment of allowances to personnel of centres where access to electronic communications networks can be obtained.
Every holder of a license granted or deemed to have been granted in terms of the ECA is mandated to make prescribed contributions to the USAF.