Government approves BTC separation model for privatisation
by Kabelo Seitshiro
The Minister of Transport and Communications, Nonofo Molefhi, says the government’s implementation of the first phase of registering the two companies, the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) and the Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) companies are at an advanced stage for privatisation of BTC.
Molefhi revealed that the government approved the separation model. He told the media on Wednesday that some of the assets will be separated from the current BTC set-up and will be placed in the SPC company. The assets include the local and national access dark fibre systems, which include the Trans-Kalahari Optical Fibre, the metropolitan fibre loops, the Francistown fibre loop and all other dark fibre systems.
Other assets that will be separated from the current BTC set-up, Molefhi said, also include the Dense Division Multiplex fibre system and the associated active electronic equipment and assets.
“The packages will be discussed with the unions as well as the rest of the employees and PEEPA is the principle guider in the whole process,” he said.
Molefhi further pointed out that the assets and operations have been identified by the government as those that will facilitate the increased liberalization and efficiency of the telecommunications sector in Botswana. He added that the transfer of the assets from BTC will not affect the operations and opportunities for BTC to continue playing an important role in the communications sector.
“The decision on the form of separation of the identified network assets and operations from BTC to the new infrastructure company gives momentum to the implementation of phase 2 of the privatization process,” said Molefhi.
He also announced the ownership and operation of both the East Africa Sea System (EASSY) and West Africa Cable System (WACS) and associated rights that include the terrestrial backhaul links in the neighbouring countries.
Molefhi stated the government approved privatization of BTC through the sale of 49 percent of shares of the BTC to citizens through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and that government will retain 51 percent. He also said that the government approved that the backbone infrastructure comprising of the Trans-Kalahari Optic Fiber network and the Gaborone-Francistown Loop be separated from BTC and be established as a new infrastructure company, 100 percent owned by government under his Ministry.
“The time frame to conclude the whole process might take 18-24 months from now as it also includes the physical separation as well as the identification new members,” he stated.
Special Purpose Vehicle board of directors (SPV) board consist of Board chairman Ratsela Mooketsi and board members are Ms Malebogo Mpugwa, Dr Pauline Sebina, Mr Marvin Torto, Mr Letsebe Sejoe, Mr Ditirwa Mphoeng, and the acting CEO is Mr Keabetswe Segole.