TATA TO INVEST ‘BILLIONS' IN SNO

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Communications minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri expects Tata to invest “billions” of rand in the second national operator (SNO).

Earlier this week, the minister announced the SNO finally has a full complement of shareholders, with Indian-based Tata Group being awarded the remaining 26% shareholding.

The Tata Group, represented in SA by Tata Africa Holdings, has investments including Tata Infotech, which operates in India, SA and several other countries, while the organisation also owns Tata Technologies and has shares in dual-listed telecommunications giant VSNL.

In reply to a question during her parliamentary press briefing on the Department of Communications' activities, the minister said while she does not yet know exactly how much the Indian industrial group will invest in the SNO, the investment will include technology and other expertise.

The minister also covered several other issues in her annual briefing, including the finalising of the ICT black empowerment charter. “Its implementation will certainly revolutionise the ICT industry. However, the shortage of resources for SMMEs [small, medium and micro enterprises] remains one of the biggest challenges for us.”

Other Acts the department is expected to bring before Parliament this year are the Telecommunications Amendment Act and changes to the ICASA Act, although these were not mentioned during the briefing.

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