/ 18 May 2009

Sanco says it will mobilise against Vodacom

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) threatened on Monday to mobilise Vodacom subscribers in protest against the listing of the cellphone giant at the JSE.

The move came after the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) failed in a high court bid to stop the listing of Vodacom and the sale of Telkom shares in Vodacom to Vodafone.

The court victory did not signal ”an end to the war”, said Sanco spokesperson Dumisani Mthalane.

”We are saying, now is the time for all the low-income earners, the unemployed, the shack-dwellers and every concerned South African to rise up and take a stand against exploitation by big-spenders who are bent on making profits at the expense of the poor masses,” he said.

”We as Sanco support the call by Cosatu for a national boycott of all Vodacom products and we will soon be working on a strategy to mobilise the masses to mount an exodus to the opposition.”

No date was given for the planned action.

Mthalane dismissed suggestions that many jobs would be created out of the transactions in which Vodacom’s stake was bought by Vodafone.

He said communities had been hoodwinked into believing that the so-called Foreign Direct Investment projects had not benefitted the poor and had, in fact, resulted in more misery for our people.

Mthalane accused the cellphone giant of failing to deliver on long outstanding promises to roll-out services to communities in remote villages of the country.

”Instead, their tariffs have continually been growing out of reach for most communities; we believe that this situation will become even worse when foreign investors want to see returns for their investment in this deal.”

Mthalane said the boycott should not be seen as an anti-foreign investors move, but as a cautionary measure to ensure that investors had good intentions. — Sapa