2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


PRIVATISATION OF TELKOM AND THE OPENING UP THE TELECOMS SECT
OR

STATEMENT ISSUED BY CEDRIC FROLICK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR PUBLIC ENTERPRISES

The UDM welcomes the announcements of Government in the past week regarding the restructuring of the telecommunications sector. Especially important is the Cabinet decision to list a 20% stake of Telkom next year, aim to end Telkom's monopoly in May 2002 and the promised full liberalisation of the phone market by 2007. These announcements are long overdue in light of the various complaints against Telkom for uncompetitive behaviour, which will hopefully be addressed through this process.

The UDM urges Government to ensure that previously disadvantaged communities and Black Economic Empowerment play a sustainable and meaningful role in this process. Current indications of the plans of Government are silent on the subject, even though reference is made to the possible involvement of large foreign investors.

The UDM calls on Government to release as a matter of urgency their strategy for Black Economic Empowerment and Small Enterprise Development with regard to the restructuring of state utilities. Enterprise Development must be central to the restructuring process because it presents a huge once-off opportunity for job creation. Failure to do so will simply increase the gap between the haves and have-nots, and no real benefit will accrue to the millions of poor and unemployed people South Africa.

Enquiries:
  Cedric Frolick, MP
  UDM Spokesperson for Public Enterprises

Cape Town
13 June 2000