The South African government is reportedly planning to reach a decision on the partial privatisation of state-owned telecoms infrastructure provider Broadband Infraco this week, TechCentral reports citing two people familiar with the matter. The cash-strapped company – which manages infrastructure rollouts to underserved areas on behalf of the government and has roughly 15,000km of fibre-optic cabling – has made several unsuccessful submissions to the state for funding, with its most recent appeal for ZAR243 million (USD17.7 million), in addition to a further ZAR932 million until 2019, submitted in September 2015. A potential sale process would attract bids from cellco Vodacom and fibre-optic provider Dark Fibre Africa (DFA), the news source writes.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in June 2015 struggling Broadband Infraco was directed by its majority shareholder, the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS), to undertake a valuation exercise in preparation for its possible sale, while in February this year it emerged that Infraco and Telkom were in talks over ‘possible collaboration’. Telkom however called off the negotiations in mid-2016.