The Independent Communication Authority of South Africa is a product of statute, the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa Amendment Act of 2000, amended in 2005. ICASA was established in July 2000, as a merger of the telecommunications regulator, the South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA) and the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA).
The ICASA Amendment Act 2005 also provided for the incorporation of the Postal Regulator into ICASA. The Amendment Act of 2005 also increased ICASA’s council complement from seven to nine councillors. The Authority is responsible for regulating the telecommunications, broadcasting and postal industries in the public interest and ensure affordable services of a high quality for all South Africans.
The Authority also issues licenses to telecommunications and broadcasting service providers’, enforces compliance with rules and regulations, protects consumers from unfair business practices and poor quality services, hears and decides on disputes and complaints brought against licensees and controls and manages the effective use of radio frequency spectrum. ICASA is a Chapter 9 institution (an institution which supports democracy) in terms of the South African Constitution and is a portfolio organisation of the Department of Communications (DoC).