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Ramaphosa chides telecom operators for slowing broadband rollout

Urging them to resolve the matter for the benefit of the country.
Image: Bloomberg

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa hit out at mobile-phone companies for bringing legal action against plans to issue more broadband spectrum, urging them to resolve the matter for the benefit of the country.

MTN, which has the second-most subscribers in the country, and Telkom SA both appealed to courts about how the regulator is arranging the auction, which was announced in October after years of delays.

“The legal case that is under way threatens to delay the progress that we have all anticipated,” Ramaphosa told lawmakers in Cape Town on Thursday. “I appeal to all stakeholders to speedily resolve the litigation as soon as possible to enable the licensing process to be concluded for the benefit of all South Africans.”

South African market leader Vodacom, which hasn’t objected to the process, and MTN have long called for more spectrum to expand their data services and boost revenue, while the government sees the move as a way to attract investment and help revive a moribund economy. Both sides say the plan will bring down prices — a matter that’s led to regulator censure and protests from users.

When the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa released the terms of the auction, MTN executives didn’t like what they saw. The Johannesburg-based company argues that prioritising smaller operators means the carrier will be shut out of bidding for new 5G spectrum.

Telkom’s issue is that two bandwidths the company covets are occupied by broadcasters and there’s no plan to open them up.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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Chide? The President has the temerity to chide anybody? With a Cabinet riddled with spongers, is he not embarrassed to even address the media? Our economy is not in the toilet; it IS the toilet. Our inter-racial relationships and nationhood are similarly defective; our systems, in general, are a mess. To think I was misled into thinking this person had the ability and the will to lead our country in every respect. I was wrong.

Cyril is a party puppet. The ANC is a festering black hole of corrupt ineptitude. He does their bidding.

The real tragedy is that the electorate will continue to vote ANC because they have no alternative. The EFF is ANC on roids and the DA is too white. Black people will never vote for a white leadership – no matter how bad their own leaders are.

Are the Yoga Moms in the suburbs still loving Cyril.

And all the people who voted ANC in 2019 as a “strategic” move.

It was laughable then and it’s still laughable now.

Cyril denies that his party intends to take “custodianship” of all land, sending his praise singers into ecstacy.

Perhaps Cyril has not read his party’s proposed expropriation amendments, which cater for exactly that.

Apart from being non-existent as a leader, Cyril is also a dreadful manager.

His “super presidency” is an admission that he has no faith in his ministers, preferring (or trying) to keep all control under himself.

Yet with all that control, power and centralisation he will retain each and every cabinet minister and deputy.

End of comments.

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