Monday, June 8, 2009

Zim Cabinet Approves Privatization of TelOne

Zimbabwe's cabinet has approved a commercialisation and privatisation
plan encompassing state-held assets in industries including telecoms,
energy and infrastructure. Minister of Finance Tendai Biti told the
Zimbabwe Independent that the approved plan took into consideration
timing, overall objectives and appropriate processes to be used,
whilst state enterprises had been divided into categories depending on
their potential and current state.

The category of high value, high potential businesses (but needing
capitalisation and better management) includes national PSTN operator
TelOne, power stations and the national railway operator, according to
the minister. It is estimated that the country needs USD10 billion to
carry out necessary transformations to revitalise its economy, but has
so far raised around USD1 billion. CommsUpdate previously reported
that the government intended to put state-run mobile operator NetOne
up for sale, but last month it was revealed the sale attempt would be
suspended until the global economy improved.

Also in the news, Zimbabwe's Minister of Information and Communication
Technology Nelson Chamisa has ordered TelOne to make heavy cuts to its
fixed line tariffs and to match billing systems used in other
countries in the region. On Thursday Chamisa issued a ministerial
order barring the telco from cutting off any customers unable to pay
their bills, until the matter is resolved by cabinet.

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