South Africa's communications minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has outlined plans for the shutdown of its 2G and 3G networks by 2025, as she urges the country to keep pace with the digital economy.

The proposal has since been pushed for public comment, with the plan contained in the ministry's next-generation radio frequency spectrum draft policy.

Downtown Joburg, South Africa
– Ryan James/Thinkstock

Ntshavheni has proposed that South Africa's 2G networks are switched off by June 2024, ahead of the 3G switch-off by March 2025.

To ensure these targets are met, Ntshavheni has proposed that the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) bans the distribution of 2G devices by the end of June 2023. Meanwhile, the licenses for 3G services are expected to be prohibited after September 30, 2024.

During her talk, Ntshavheni noted the roadmap will look at when South Africa has full 4G and 5G coverage so that the country "can participate in the digital economy."

Vodacom has previously stated its intentions to switch off 2G services by 2024, while MTN says it may shut down its 3G services first.

Subscribe to our daily newsletters