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SNO Deliberations…

[Update: Thanks to Colin for noticing that my link to the story was broken… Its now fixed]

For non-South African’s the SNO probably won’t mean much… Here’s a brief overview – SNO = Second National Operator… Currently we have only one fixed line telephone provider in South Africa (Telkom) which used to be(?) a 100% state run compan and is currently a well protected monopoly.  In 2002 a competitor was to be announced, so it would still be a controlled market (only 2 players allowed) but there would be some kind of competition.  Its now 2004, and the government minister who should have resolved this 2 years ago is still playing games…

This morning I read an article from yesterday on ITWeb, entitled “Pontius Pilate syndrome” by Rodney Weidemann, which has some choice quotes about the latest developments – She’s announced that she’ll award the SNO licence on the 17th of September.  Here are some of them:

“Rumour has it that Matsepe-Casaburri is hoping to find a financial institution of some kind to take up the remaining shareholding in the SNO [….] Except that the idea of a financial institution, which has no experience in the telecoms game, running the SNO is almost as ridiculous as the idea of a minister with no telecoms experience running the communication ministry.”

“She has instituted a time frame which cannot possibly be met, is asking the impossible of the various members of the SNO and is then going to turn around, much like Pontius Pilate, and wash her hands of the entire debacle, saying: ‘It’s not MY fault.’ […] Except that we have known the minister’s ways for too long, and will not be fooled by this. Her ineptitude is the real reason we still have no valid competition for Telkom, years after we were supposed to.”


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