Government goes for the cellphone jugular – at last

By Incorrect Author 12 October 2009

South Africa’s cellphone operators (especially MTN and Vodacom) are masters at frustrating regulators and negotiating themselves into plum positions. Perhaps they tried those old tricks and, for their trouble, got the carpet-bombing response. Or perhaps this is a replay of the mining royalties saga, where the impossible demands of government turn out to be a tactic rather than a goal. Either way, the department of communications on the weekend said it would demand cost price interconnect rates from cellphone operators by November. Cost reductions of up to 50% have been mooted. And never mind that the deadline is a logistical impossibility, or that the impact on corporate earnings would be apocalyptic. But it wouldn’t be surprising if thousands of beleaguered and frustrated consumers already have the bubbly on ice. Now we’ll get to see how good these operators really are at the classic charm offensive.

Gallery

While we have your attention...

An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money - though not nearly as much as its absence.

Every article, every day, is our contribution to Defending Truth in South Africa. If you would like to join us on this mission, you could do much worse than support Daily Maverick's quest by becoming a Maverick Insider.

Click here to become a Maverick Insider and get a closer look at the Truth.


SCORPIO

SARS & Gartner – global advisory giant’s mysterious deal with Moyane’s friend follows a pattern of tender corruption

By Pauli Van Wyk

"We spend the first year of a child's life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down. There's something wrong there." ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson