The directions include a section which deals solely with the dissemination of information. The new rules include:
- Broadcasting Licensees are required to receive and disseminate public information related to the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.
- All Licensees with access to radio frequency spectrum are required to make available their platforms for the streaming of public announcements to their subscribers.
- Electronic Communications Services Licensees, OTTs and ISPs must remove fake news related to COVID-19 from their platforms immediately after it is identified as such.
- All Internet sites operating within .zaDNA top level domain name must have a landing page with a visible link to www.sacoronavirus.co.za.
- Licensees must provide zero-rated access to local educational content websites.
- Audio visual services, especially the broadcasting services licensees, must increase their educational programmes to support awareness of COVID-19.
- Licensees with access to high-demand spectrum must make available connectivity to 104 district virtual classroom platforms with minimum speeds of 10Mbps to support virtual teaching during the COVID-19 national disaster.
These regulations may catch many .za website owners off guard, as many domains do not have a website hosted on the domain.
Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has approved new requirements for South African ISPs and website owners as part of the government’s plan to fight the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.