South Africa elected to the ITU Council and Radio Regulations Board

November 9th, 2018, Published in Articles: EngineerIT

ICASA frequency spectrum manager, Mandla Mchunu elected to ITU Radio Regulations Board.

South Africa was elected to the ITU Council and an ICASA Frequency spectrum manager, Mandla Mchunu was elected to the Radio Regulations Board (RRB) at the Plenipotentiary Conference which is the highest decision-making body of ITU, the United Nations specialised agency for ICTs. Held every four years, the conference is the key event at which ITU member states build consensus on key international ICT issues, elect leaders for the Union’s top posts, and decide on a roadmap for ITU’s work over the next four-year period, including strategic and financial plans.


Member states of the ITU have unopposed re-elected Houlin Zhao of China as ITU secretary-general. Zhao, an ICT engineer who has served in a variety of senior management positions at ITU, will begin his second, and last, four-year term on 1 January 2019.

“We continue to connect the unconnected,” says Zhao. “We are strengthening partnerships to implement our common vision of a connected world, where information and communication technology is a source for good for everyone everywhere.”

Prior to first being elected as ITU secretary-general in 2014, Zhao served eight years as ITU deputy secretary-general. He also served two elected terms as director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardisation Bureau (TSB), which develops technical standards to ensure worldwide ICT interoperability. Before that, he was a senior counsellor with TSB for 12 years.

Malcom Johnson of the United Kingdom was re-elected deputy secretary-general of ITU, Mario Maniewicz of Uruguay was elected director of the Radiocommunication Bureau, Chaesub Lee of Republic of Korea was re-elected director of the Telecommunication Standardisation Bureau and Doreen Bogdan-Martin of the United States was elected director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau.

South Africa brings experience to RRB

Mandla Mchunu, has more than 20 years’ experience in radiocommunications and telecommunications. He was part of the team that made contributions to the development of the first South African National radio frequency bands re-planning exercise in 1996 and its subsequent revisions to the current National Radio Frequency Plan 2018. He served on the committees of the then Telecommunications Regulatory Associations of Southern Africa (TRASA) which developed the harmonised radio frequency plans for Southern African countries. He was part of a radio frequency spectrum coordinating committee which developed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with neighbouring countries dealing with cross border radio frequency spillage of mobile networks. He has been part of a South African delegation to every ITU World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC) since 1997.

The RRB approves rules of procedure, used by the Radiocommunication Bureau in applying the provisions of the radio regulations and registering frequency assignments made by the Member States. The Board also deals with disputes.

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