* Nkenke Kekana is to use his experience at Telkom and as the chairman of Parliament's communications portfolio committee to create a new investment company specialising in the sector. Kekana will team up with other black players in the industry to form an investment group that will play an active role in the companies it invests in. He will also be advising the black empowered technology group Business Connexion. In a third move he will work with an existing investment house, Mowana Investments, which holds shares in Business Connexion.

Kekana will leave Telkom at the end of this month after two years as its regulatory affairs executive. Before that he was an MP and headed the portfolio committee that helped to shape the country's telecommunications and broadcasting policies. Kekana was a founding partner of Business Connexion along with Benjamin and Isaac Mophatlane. Mowala Investments held shares in news-analysis service Monitoring SA, and its remit was not purely focused on technology, said Benjamin Mophatlane.

The main aim of the new investment company will be to capitalise on opportunities created by the convergence of technology and telecommunications. The ability to carry voice, data and video on a single network brings down the costs and allows voice and data services to be rolled out in rural areas.

One early venture could be in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where there was a dire need for basic telecommunications services. The group will also take equity in South African companies that need black investors to meet the targets being set by the empowerment charter. "There are many opportunities with regard to equity because of the charter and we will be looking at all of those," Kekana said. Negotiations had been taking place with some financial institutions and the funds were in place to support those initiatives, he said.

On the move: Verso Technologies Inc has opened a South African office to cover Sub-Saharan Africa with Terry Sanderson as its Director of Sales.