COMRiC And ACT Advocate For Diesel Rebates For SA Telecom Sector

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COMRiC And ACT Advocate For Diesel Rebates For SA Telecom Sector
Credit: © Reuters.

The Communication Risk Information Centre (COMRiC) and the Association of Comms and Technology (ACT) have jointly appealed to Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to deliberate on the provision of diesel rebates tailored specifically for the telecommunications sector.

Reliance on diesel generators to provide backup power for cell towers, especially in remote and underserved areas, is a significant operational expense.

In the face of electrical outages, which are particularly common in regions with unstable power grids, diesel generators ensure network uptime, maintaining crucial communication channels for both consumers and emergency services.

A rebate on diesel would not only alleviate the financial burden on providers, ensuring continued service reliability and consumer satisfaction, but also enable cost savings to be redirected towards network expansion, technological upgrades, and more sustainable energy solutions.

This initiative would significantly contribute to improving connectivity in rural and underdeveloped areas, fostering inclusivity and economic growth. During 2023, it is estimated that telecommunication companies spent more than R1,1billion in diesel to power up critical infrastructure.

COMRiC is a collaborative effort among South Africa’s leading telecommunications operators focused on protecting networks from criminals while ACT collaborates with stakeholders across the ICT ecosystem to advocate for a thriving communications and telecommunications sector.

As the country waits for this week’s budget speech, COMRiC and ACT are advocating for the Finance Minister to enhance the budget allocated to law enforcement specifically targeting crimes against telecommunications infrastructure.

The rampant theft of high-capacity batteries and diesel fuel, driven by criminal syndicates, poses a severe threat to networks’ integrity and resilience.

“These criminal activities not only incur substantial financial losses for providers but also jeopardise the security and reliability of communications for millions of South Africans. By enhancing police visibility and capacity, we can more effectively combat these crimes, safeguarding our infrastructure and ensuring uninterrupted service to the public,” reads the statement.

“We look forward to the Finance Minister’s support on these matters, as we continue to work towards a more connected and secure South Africa.”

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