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


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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