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    Hellkom > News > Local > Telkom monopoly means SA business must compete at a major disadvantage

Telkom monopoly means SA business must compete at a major disadvantage

19 September 2003
 
The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) has correctly rejected the two bids for the second national operator, but once again South African citizens are left with a governmen telecommunications monopoly and exploitative prices for digital communication.

The government will try to explain the failure away, blaming a poor telecommunications environment in international markets, but that's not the real story. The real problem is that firms are understandably reluctant to invest in a market that is heavily regulated by the government and dominated by a state-owned monopolistic entity.

The 1996 Telecommunications Act, which governs SA's telecoms industry, is a law like no other. Most laws describe the rules under which companies in a given industry are able to do business. But this appalling piece of legislation carves out a whole industry and grants roles to a mere handful of companies, most of which rely on a single supplier - Telkom - for infrastructure.

Current government com ...

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