Resolutions from a board meeting by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) have finalised that Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) must reserve 29% of its shares for locals or private investors, as it lists on the Namibia Stock Exchange.
This is subject to sections 35 and 46 of the Communications Act.
In a document made available to The Villager, a CRAN board meeting that took place on Monday approved for the transfer of the control of class comprehensive telecommunications service licence and all spectrum use licences issued to MTC to Namibia Post and Telecom Holdings from Samba DutchCo. B.V.
In the document which is signed by CRAN board members, MTC has been directed to list on the stock exchange within a period of 12 months from the date the resolution is communicated to the petitioner.
It has further been resolved that MTC must provide the regulatory authority with bi-monthly reports on progress made in the implementation of the solution.
“These conditions are license conditions imposed on Mobile Telecommunications Limited. In the event that Mobile Telecommunications Limited fails to comply with these license conditions, the Authority will enforce compliance in terms of sections 114- 116 of the Communications Act, Act No. 8 of 2009,” said CRAN.
Meanwhile, parliamentarians have welcomed this move but cautioned against possible corruption when selling shares to locals.
“I think it’s a good move. It’s important for citizens to own shares in properties, especially for the poorer people to become an owner of something. It gives you pride. It means you are somewhere. It’s something we have to encourage to some other bigger companies to give shares to employees that have been saving for some time.”
“Corruption is a problem and you know, unfortunately in Africa and all over the world, if I want to gain something I must make a plan,” said United People's Movement’s representative, Jan van Wyk.
United Democratic Front (UDF) vice-president Dudu Murorua challenged government to also make sure these shares are sold to those working at MTC first before selling to private people and investors.
“If government is having a company that is going on very well and they are putting shares on the stock exchange they need to also allocate shares to the staff members of that company so that they can become shareholders."
“As much as we want private companies to become shareholders but people are working for MTC, they can become share holders of that company before it goes to the stock exchange, an allocation needs to be done for those people. It is a good thing on the one side but consideration has to be given that we need to do what we are preaching. We should not preach that other people have to provide shares for their workers but we do not provide shares for our own workers in our companies," he said.
When contacted by The Villager to confirm the document signed by board members, the CEO Festus Mbandeka said he would revert back today "Once we have the opportunity to verify the document. "