In a surprising move, MWeb is lobbying government to give Telkom the more than R1bn in cash stashed away in the universal service fund so that it can plough that money into upgrading its network. CEO Rudi Jansen is especially keen for the money to be used to upgrade the so-called last mile of copper cables that connect customers to Telkom’s network.
There will soon be clarity on how hundreds of millions of rand in the Universal Service Fund will be spent. The money is meant to be used to facilitate the roll-out of telecommunications infrastructure in underserviced and rural parts of SA, but has remained largely untapped for years. Now Phineas Moleele, the newly appointed CEO at the Universal Service & Access Agency of SA (Usaasa), the government body established to administer the fund, is promising to start using the money in the fund.