Licence Transfers of Control (and BEE) - More Confusion?

Posted by LA Thornton on Monday, December 1, 2014
On 27 November 2014, ICASA gave notice that it had accepted an application for the transfer of control of the service (and spectrum) licences of the subsidiaries of Business Connexion Group Ltd to Telkom SA SOC Ltd. 

ICASA stated that the application was submitted in terms of section 13 of the EC Act, which concerns service licences.  No reference was made to the provisions of the EC Act concerning spectrum licences.

ICASA stated in the notice that it has"published a notice on 10 October 2014 giving notice that 'all I-ECS and I-ECNS licence transfer applications submitted to the Authority from the date of publication of this notice in the government Gazette, which do not have 30% equity ownership by HDG's, will not be approved'. The Telkom/BCG application was submitted to the Authority on 29 August 2014."

Some interesting questions arise. 

Does the notice of 10 October 2014 apply to transfers of control as well as transfers of licences? 

What is the magic of 10 October - why are those that fortuitously submitted prior to that date to be treated differently (under the same EC Act provisions) from those that submit later? 

Is this justifiable unequal treatment? 

Some more questions remain.

ICASA's regulations setting out the procedures for transfers have not been amended to apply also to transfers of control. Will this have to be done prior to ICASA deciding whether to approve the proposed transaction?

Tags: icasa "ownership and control" licensing 
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