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September 25, 1993updated 05 Sep 2016 2:37pm

SOUTH AFRICA AWARDS CELLULAR PHONE LICENCES

By CBR Staff Writer

The South African government last week gave up on winning agreement on the deals with the African National Congress, and went ahead and awarded two $30m licences to establish the country’s first cellular telephone networks – and each of the winning consortia includes a British company, Reuter reports from Cape Town: Mobile Telephone Networks (Pty) Ltd, comprises Naftel, the M-Net television channel, Cable & Wireless Plc, the state-owned Transnet transport network and Fabcos, a black business group; the second consortium, to be known as Vodacom Group (Pty) Ltd, comprises the state phone company Telkom as a 50% shareholder with Vodafone Group Plc and the Rembrandt Group industrial conglomerate; each group will pay a one-off licence fee of $30m and an annual royalty of 5% of turnover; Vodacom reckons that the government can expect an income of at least $1,500m in taxes and fees from the two network operators over the next 10 years; commercial service is planned start in the first half of 1994, directly and indirectly generating more than 20,000 jobs; the network will also support at least 30,000 community payphones, mainly in areas currently difficult to serve.

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