ICASA Updates to WASPA Code of Conduct

Published on: 21st July 2017

The over 400 members of South Africa’s Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) have ratified an update to their Code of Conduct that specifically align the WASPA Code with the ICASA Regulations on Code of Conduct for Premium Rated Services. All changes relate to this alignment and are immediately applicable.

Version 15.0 of the WASPA Code of Conduct was adopted by the Industry Representative Body’s Management Committee (Mancom) following the recent WASPA Annual General Meeting held in June. The country’s over 35 million mobile users regularly interact with WASPA members’ premium-rated content and applications, necessitating this latest Code update.

A PDF version of the Code showing the changes from version 14.7 are available for download via the Code archive page. A copy of the revised Code can be found here.

The WASPA Code of Conduct has been revised eleven times since May 2014 to reflect new challenges within the wireless application service provider (WASP) industry that provides South Africa’s cellular users with mobile content and applications. “WASPA’s world-leading Code of Conduct sets the standard for responsible self-regulation and is annually fine-tuned to better protect the mobile consumer,” says WASPA General Manager, James McNab.

WASPA first introduced a Code of Conduct to regulate the then emerging mobile content and applications industry in 2004. From a loose collection of like-minded firms wanting to offer increased choice to the mobile consumer, the sector is today an important contributor to South Africa’s vibrant cellular industry.

The Code contains provisions relating to how mobile content and services may be advertised, for example, and these are vigorously enforced. According to WASPA, the Code is aligned with the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA), the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI). This means that members who align their activities with the WASPA code are in full compliance with the applicable legislation, and now also with regulations drafted by the telecoms sector regulator.

The two sets of ICASA regulations that informed the latest set of changes to the WASPA Code, and links to copies of the relevant Government Gazettes are included below:

A non-profit organisation, WASPA was founded on 26 August 2004 in South Africa with the full support of the three SA network operators: Cell C, MTN and Vodacom. Fostering consumer confidence in the WASP industry through responsible self-regulation is a key focus of the Association.