CellSAf, one of Cell C’s oldest shareholders, has objected to the mobile operator’s plan to transfer control of its licenses to Blue Label’s The Prepaid Company.
The objection followed Cell C’s plan to transfer control of its Electronic Communications and spectrum licences to Blue Label’s The Prepaid Company.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) published this application in a government gazette on Wednesday, 6 December 2023.
The transfer of control application includes Cell C’s individual electronic communications service (I-ECS) and network service (I-ECNS) licenses and its radio frequency spectrum licences.
The radio frequency spectrum licences include its 2,100MHz, 900MHz, and 1,800MHz spectrum.
Dr Nomonde Mabuya, director and company secretary of CellSAf, told MyBroadband they do not support Cell C’s decision.
Mabuya said they had not been consulted about the transfer of control and that the application had happened without their knowledge.
“This licence transfer matter was never discussed with us. The first time we learned about it was when we saw the ICASA government gazette published on 6 December 2023,” she said.
What is particularly concerning for CellSAf is that the matter has been kept from them despite engaging regularly with Blue Label Telecoms executive team members.
Mabuya said they had submitted their objection to Cell C’s planned licence control transfer to ICASA through their legal team on 29 December 2023.
She said they are concerned that Blue Label is stripping other shareholders of Cell C’s key strategic assets. This includes the transfer of control of its spectrum license.
MyBroadband asked other Cell C shareholders whether they support Cell C’s plan to transfer control of its licenses to The Prepaid Company.
Nedbank, a substantial Cell C shareholder, told Daily Investor that it could not comment due to client confidentiality agreements.
Two of the other significant shareholders — Lesaka/Net1 and Gramercy — did not provide feedback by the time of publication.