Telkom will not fund R98-billion broadband project: report

The Sunday Times reported that Telkom will not bear the burden for the R98-billion national broadband rollout project announced by the government.

Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene said that the government would invest R1.1-billion into the broadband project over the next three years. This raises questions as to where the rest of the funds would come from.

In February Bloomberg reported that South Africa’s government will push Telkom to provide the cash for its new broadband network which will provide Internet access to citizens.

Telecommunications minister Siyabonga Cwele told Bloomberg that the rollout of broadband is a costly exercise, and that “Telkom has got its own balance sheet which can meet some of this demand.”

The planned broadband network will cost around R98 billion, and according to Bloomberg will be funded by the sale of mobile frequencies, the government budget, and resources from Telkom.

However, Siya Qoza, a spokesman for Cwele, said Telkom may be “spared from contributing financially”.

Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko also said that the government will fund the national broadband project.

The full report is available in the Sunday Times of 1 March 2015

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Telkom will not fund R98-billion broadband project: report