THE tension between the council of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) and its administration is one of the obstacles hampering the regulator from effectively regulating the sector, according to the chairman of the portfolio committee on communication, Ismail Vadi, writes Thabiso Mochiko in Business Report.

Speaking at a public lecture at Wits University this week, Vadi said Icasa's failure to bring down interconnection rates was not a capacity problem, nor was it a lack of resources.

"There are serious tensions and divisions between councillors and the administration (the chief executive and staff)," said Vadi. "Council does not see the administration as a vital resource. They work in opposite directions. We never picked it up before until we visited Icasa (last month). Professionalism and quality is a concern, not capacity," he added.

The regulator was expected to clarify the "rules of business" between management and council.

Icasa has recently come under sharp criticism for its failure over the past eight years to lower the interconnection rate, which is set at R1.25 a minute from 20c in 2001. This has also resulted in consumers paying high retail prices.

Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Report's website.