Ramaphosa: Vested interests and policy drift delayed spectrum auction

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South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the conclusion of the broadband spectrum auction as an “important achievement”, but admitted that its delay was due to state incapacity.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) collected R14,4 billion from the auction, which saw six mobile operators making bids for radio frequency bands that should propel the rollout of new generation technologies and help drive down the cost of data.

“The auction of spectrum is an important achievement. It was delayed for many years due to the policy drift, state incapacity, and vested interests that were a feature of the era of state capture,” said Ramaphosa in his weekly newsletter.

“The fact that we have now completed this process reflects the determination of this administration to undertake – and accelerate– the far-reaching reforms that our economy needs to grow and create jobs.” The spectrum allocation was the first in 17 years, and the process had over the years been delayed by administrative hold-ups under different communication ministers and court challenges between the government, Icasa and some operators. – fin24

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