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SA regulator appoints a new CEO

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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has appointed Tshiamo Maluleka-Disemelo as its new CEO.

Maluleka-Disemelo officially took over as CEO of the regulatory body on February 1, 2023, for a five-year contract. She is moving from her current role as chief audit executive (CAE) of ICASA, a position she has held since 2020.

"In addition to her other qualifications, Ms Maluleka-Disemelo holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from Milpark Business School. She brings nearly two decades of governance, audit, and risk management experience, as well as advanced skills in spearheading executive efforts," said ICASA's acting chairperson, Dr. Charley Lewis, about her appointment.

"In her position as CAE she has collaborated with Council to develop, amongst others, ICASA's strategic plan, annual and operational performance plans, policies and procedures for managing organisational risks, and as such contributed to the effective management of the organization," Lewis added.

ICASA's mandate is to regulate South Africa's telecommunications, postal and broadcasting sectors in the public interest.

Leadership pipeline

The regulator has been searching for a permanent CEO since August 2022 when former leader Willington Ngwepe said he would not be available for re-appointment for another five-year term. A week later it emerged that Ngwepe would be moving into the corporate world and taking up the role of MTN's chief of staff in the office of the Group CEO.

Ngwepe's tenure at ICASA included landmark changes to the End-user and Subscriber Service Charter Amendment Regulations which resulted in the end of automatic out-of-bundle billing by operators. He also saw through the successful 2022 conclusion of South Africa's historic high-demand spectrum auction.

Nkhetheleni Gidi has been acting CEO since September 2022 and will now go back to his role of ICASA executive for policy, research and analysis.


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The SA regulator is also still in search of a permanent chairperson after Dr. Keabetswe Modimoeng resigned in June 2022.

Lewis took up the role of acting chairperson in July 2022 and will step down in April 2023.

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*Top image is of new ICASA CEO Tshiamo Maluleka-Disemelo. (Source: ICASA).

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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