Following the myths related to 5G network facilities and the spread of COVID-19, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in a statement warned people to ‘not be swayed by conspiracies’ and rely on the scientifically-based evidence. ICASA chairperson Keabetswe Modimoeng on January 11 said that the baseless theories are only meant to ‘bring instability and fear’ among the nation. This came after service providers Vodacom and MTN telecom towers burned last week by some people who believed that the spread of the novel coronavirus linked to 5G technologies.
"We all need to rely on scientifically-based evidence and refrain from these baseless theories," said ICASA chairperson Keabetswe Modimoeng in a statement released on Monday, urging people "not to be swayed by these conspiracy theories that are hell-bent on bringing instability and fear within the nation."
"Some of the frequencies earmarked and trialled for 5G deployment by industry players were previously assigned to various operators in South Africa-way before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in 2020," he said, adding that "such fake theories can only cause despair and unnecessary technophobia among South Africans and must be strongly condemned."
In order to inform the people, ICASA even explained that South Africa followed all the standard protocols decided by the International Telecommunication Union and the World Health Organization. It also said in the statement that there is no evidence about 5G technologies posing any health risks to the citizens or the country. The COVID-19 pandemic has also triggered a wave of misinformation regarding its spread and treatment. Now as the nation have begun vaccination drives, false claims have begun emerging on social media about its safety and efficacy.
ICASA said, “South Africa adheres to the relevant standards prescribed by both the ITU and the World Health Organisation (WHO), with the former’s focus being primarily on the regulation of radio frequency electromagnetic field emissions. The Authority confirms that type-approved electronic communications facilities provided in the country adhere to the prescribed standards and that there is no evidence that they pose any health risks to the country and/or its citizens.”