ICASA:The 5G myths vis-à-vis COVID-19

11 January 2021

The Authority continues to note media reports with regards to the deployment of the Fifth-Generation (5G) technologies and infrastructure and its purported relation to the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Authority would like to urge all South Africans not to be swayed by these conspiracy theories that are hell-bent on bringing instability and fear within the nation.

In its media statement dated 6 April 2020, the Authority debunked these conspiracy theories that link the spread of COVID-19 to the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) technologies. The Authority would like to reiterate its position that the development of standards for International Mobile Telecommunication for 2020 (IMT-2020) and beyond (commercially known as 5G), is continuing at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); and that the administration, including ICASA, contribute and participates in these processes.

“We all need to rely on scientifically-based evidence and refrain from these baseless theories. 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. Such fake theories can only cause despair and unnecessary technophobia among South Africans and must be strongly condemned”, says Dr Modimoeng.

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.


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