Second national telco investment hinges on black empowerment

23 Jul 2003

Negotiations between South African regulator ICASA and the two prospective bidders hoping to secure a stake in the country’s second national operator (SNO) are reportedly hinging on the issue of black economic empowerment (BEE), according to local media reports. The regulator’s first attempt at finding a taker for a 51% stake in the new SNO proved unsuccessful and other shareholders, including BEE business Nexus, have been waiting close to two years to get the project up and running. However, both prospective partner consortia, CommuniTel and Two Consortium, have BEE investors of their own, leaving Nexus feeling threatened, with its CEO Kennedy Memani announcing that he wanted to avoid any potential ‘black-on-black violence in the boardroom’. Negotiations are ongoing.

South Africa