The government has grand plans to revive the failed concept of Usals — underserviced-area licences — as it gears up to overhaul the ageing legislation that governs South Africa’s ICT sector.

In late June, minister of communications & digital technologies Mondli Gungubele quietly published a new draft version of the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill, which has been in development for the best part of a decade. The new bill — a watered-down version of a previous draft — makes several sensible proposals. Rekindling the Usal idea is not one of them...

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