The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Siyabonga Cwele, has been elected as the Chairperson of the ITSO. South Africa is chairing the ITSO for the first time and will hold the position for two years.

The South African delegation was led by Minister Cwele and included state-owned signal distributor Sentech CEO, Mlamli Booi.

The elections took place at the ITSO 38th Assembly of Parties in Washington DC, in the United States of America. The Assembly of Parties is the governing body of ITSO, which has 150 member countries.

ITSO is an intergovernmental organisation that facilitates the provision of public telecommunications services, including voice, data and video on a non-discriminatory basis.

¡§I want to express our government¡¦s commitment to supporting the values, mission and principles of ITSO and to supporting the non-discriminatory access to satellite so as to ensure provision of communications services. We are gathered here with the common objective of ensuring long-term global coverage, global connectivity and non-discriminatory access to communications services,¡¨ said Minister Cwele.

The Chairship of ITSO is in line with the country¡¦s strategic objective of playing a key role in advancing the interests of the continent and developing nations in multilateral organisations.

¡§It is our common goal to create a stronger ITSO. During the two-year Chairship tenure, I will facilitate a constructive, informed and open interaction among members,¡¨ said Minister Cwele.

He has prioritised strengthening partnerships with other international organisations and strategic partners to help ITSO become responsive to technological changes and new developments.