Earlier this month Cell C and Blue Label Telecoms concluded a recapitalisation of the network operator that was two years in the making.
The recapitalisation was welcomed by the Minister of Communications Ayanda Dlodlo who said she was pleased that the recapitalisation increased the local ownership of Cell C and saved some 17 500 jobs.
But now the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has said the deal is not compliant with the Electronic Communications Act.
“The Authority has considered the notification and the preliminary view is that the Cell C recapitalisation transaction – on the face of it – triggers the provisions of Section 13 of the Electronic Communications Act of 2015 and ought to have been filed as an application for change of control of the licensee,” Icasa said in a statement.
Cell C has issued a response this morning saying it is not sure why Icasa believes the recapitalisation triggers “provisions of Section 13 of the Electronic Communications Act”.
“Cell C has received extensive legal advice and is comfortable that the recapitalisation does not amount to a transfer of control that would have required approval,” said the network operator in a statement.
The firm says that it will submit detailed and extensive information to Icasa and welcomes the chance to engage with the authority on this matter.
For your convenience we’ve included Section 13 of the Electronic Communications Act of 2015 below.