National

MTC CONFIRMS IT HAS NO CRAN DEBT OUTSTANDING


Windhoek, APR 1– Leading Mobile Telecommunications Company, MTC, has confirmed that they have no outstanding levies owed to CRAN. This follows an article claiming that MTC and another telecoms company owe CRAN over N$300 million.

MTC’s Chief Human Capital & Corporate Affairs Officer, Tim Ekandjo explained that the article is misleading in the sense that it gives the impression that MTC owes the Regulator.
“In a nutshell, there was a High Court judgement that was upheld by the Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of section 23 of the Act relating to administrative and licensing fees. The Supreme Court’s judgment agreed with MTC’s argument that the Act was not constitutional in that section 23(2) (a) of the Act gives CRAN ‘uncircumscribed discretion’ in levying ‘revenue and taxation’ which should be reserved for the legislature.

The general rule in law is that legislation should be ascertainable, i.e. an operator who is charged with a levy should know exactly what levy is payable for planning purposes.”
“Subsequent to the decision by the Supreme Court, CRAN instituted legal action in 2019 for the payment of levies from the period 2016 to 2018 based on their interpretation of the effective date of the Supreme Court judgment, MTC defended this action and on 26 February 2020 the High Court agreed with MTC’s view that the ruling of the Supreme Court was effective 29 September 2016, being the High Court ruling.”

“MTC is obliged to pay annual license fees to CRAN. MTC’s annual license fee payments to CRAN is up to date and we paid an amount of N$116.7 million from 2013 to 2016. Our levy payment is therefore up to date until the regulation and/or S23 of the Act was declared unconstitutional and I can therefore confirm that MTC do not owe the Regulator any outstanding levies” concluded Ekandjo.

Robert Maseka

mrobert@namibiadailynews.info