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South Africa blocks Starlink?

April 21, 2023

A South African opposition political party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), is accusing the country’s government of “blocking” Elon Musk’s Starlink broadband service to launch.

The DA’s shadow communications minister, Dianne Kohler Barnard, said that the government’s communications regulator’s equity ownership restrictions on telecommunications licences is holding back SpaceX from launching Starlink to South African consumers.

The current rules for the issuing of a licence to operate requires companies such as Starlink to have a shareholding structure with at least 30 per cent of the business to be held by “historically disadvantaged groups”.

“It is simply laughable that an international, multibillion-dollar company must hand over at least 30 percent of its equity to the ANC government to operate within South Africa,” Kohler Barnard said,

Musk is South African by birth, having been born in Pretoria, the nation’s capital, in 1971. He obtained a Canadian passport in 1988.

Barnard added that “South Africans will never receive free internet or data and that millions will continue to live with no access to technology, unless it is provided by an ANC cadre or tenderpreneur.”

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