Icasa notes ‘significance’ of MTN Nigeria fine

On Monday last week MTN announced it has been fined $5.2-billion by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) after failing to disconnect 5-million unregistered SIM cards in the country.

Fin24 then reached out to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to ask if MTN’s troubles in Nigeria could have any impact for the company in its home market of South Africa.

“Icasa is unable to comment on the latest developments regarding MTN in another jurisdiction except to note that such developments are significant in that they illustrate the importance of taking compliance to all relevant legislation seriously,” said Icasa.

MTN has also faced scrutiny from Icasa this year in South Africa.

In March Icasa ordered MTN to halt collecting 0.25 US cents in interconnect fees when terminating international calls.

And in March 2014, MTN and Vodacom went to the South Gauteng High Court to challenge Icasa’s decision to cut mobile termination rates. Mobile termination rates are what networks charge each other for calls made between them.

The court ruled that the interconnection rates were “unlawful and invalid”, but the order was suspended for six months with lower termination rates eventually coming into effect.

MTN’s shares have declined about 20% since news of the fine broke last week Monday. The stock traded at R149.35 at 13:48.

On November 2 the Johannesburg Stock Exchange briefly suspended trade in MTN. The JSE is also investigating the mobile network for how it announced the fine last week, and for trades which occurred just prior to the announcement.

Meanwhile, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which has a 16.6% stake in MTN, has also stressed the importance of adhering to regulations in all countries.

“As a responsible investor the PIC expects of investee companies to adhere to all the legislation of the countries in which they operate,” the PIC told Fin24 in an emailed statement. 

“We are equally concerned that MTN seems to have failed to anticipate the fine and take preventative actions. We are, however, hopeful that this matter will be addressed soon for the benefit of all interested stakeholders,” said the PIC. – Fin24

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


Taxis and Covid-19: ‘The ideal doesn’t exist’

After months of complaining about the regulations imposed on the industry, taxi owners have been given a lifeline

Mask rules are not meant to ‘criminalise’ the public

Shop owners and taxi drivers can now refuse entry to people who defy mandatory mask-wearing regulations

Ramaphosa asks all South Africans to help to avoid 50...

Calling this ‘the gravest crisis in the history of our democracy’, the president said level three lockdown remains, but enforcement will be strengthened

Reinstated Ingonyama Trust managers hit with retrenchment notices

The effect of Covid-19 and the land reform department’s freeze of R23-million because the ITB didn’t comply with budget submissions are cited as some of the reasons for the staff cuts

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday