Supreme Court sides with Vodacom over access to Telkom’s ducts

29 Mar 2021

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has dismissed an application from Telkom seeking to appeal a High Court judgment that allowed rival Vodacom access to Telkom’s cable ducts, TechCentral writes. In an order dated 17 March, the Supreme Court ruled that Telkom’s application for leave to appeal is ‘dismissed with costs on the grounds that there is no reasonable prospect of success in an appeal and there is no other compelling reason why an appeal should be heard’. The dispute began in August 2015 when Vodacom requested access to Telkom’s ducts in 15 housing estates in the Western Cape, with Telkom refusing to allow its rival to run fibre cabling though its infrastructure. Vodacom sought clarification from regulator the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in October 2017, with the watchdog concluding in 2018 that there was sufficient space in most of the existing ducts for additional installations, while keeping 25% spare capacity for ‘cable kinks and crossovers’. A High Court judgement in 2019 sided with Vodacom and ICASA, while a subsequent court application in 2020 found no basis to Telkom’s claim that the regulator erred in allowing Vodacom access to Telkom’s ducts.