Telkom’s new CEO, Nombulelo Moholi, has called on industry regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa), to review the need for the company to be subject to retail price controls.
She argues the market is now sufficiently competitive to do away with the need for price controls at the retail level and proposes that only wholesale tariffs be subject to controls.
“We continue to face massive regulatory pressure,” Moholi says. “We’ve been under a regime of retail price control for the past 14 years, even though in other [countries], once there’s competition, regulators move to wholesale rather than retail price control.”
She says Telkom is subject to far too much regulation, with more on the way — including local-loop unbundling, which will provide the company’s rivals with access to the “last mile” of copper cables into homes and businesses.
“Who is counting the cost of all this regulation, or even better, the cost versus the benefit [of the regulation]?”
Moholi says Telkom is the most regulated player in SA’s telecommunications industry and will actively lobby for an end to retail price controls. “It’s important for Telkom to succeed,” she says. “SA’s financial services industry runs on Telkom’s network [and so] the stability of this economy is [dependent] on Telkom.”
The company is expected to file its latest retail tariff proposal to Icasa in the next two days, with price changes expected to take effect on 1 August. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral