ICASA outlines conditions for approval of Vodacom, Neotel deal

6 Jul 2015

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has opened a public consultation on its proposed conditions for the approval of Vodacom’s ZAR7 billion (USD566 million) acquisition of domestic operator Neotel. The regulator is planning to impose a requirement that 30% of Neotel’s capital be held by Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) shareholders. However, ICASA said it recognises that it ‘may not be practicable’ for Vodacom and Neotel to comply with the BEE requirement from the onset. In addition, ICASA is considering imposing a condition that at least 25% of Neotel’s broadband rollouts be undertaken in underserved and unserved areas, with minimum speeds of at least 5Mbps. The regulator has invited all interested parties to submit their comments on the reasonable period for compliance with the BEE requirement and the reasonable target and timelines for fulfillment of the rollout conditions within 14 days of the publication of the notice in the Government Gazette.