PTC and privatisation


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Plans to privatise the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation still seem to be on the cards but a number of questions remain unanswered. It appears when most people talk about the PTC they seem to concentrate on the telecommunications side and not the postal one. It is a well known fact that the telecommunications side makes huge profits while the postal side drains these profits.

While it makes good sense to privatise the PTC, one of the major questions that remain unanswered, is how far this privatisation will go? It would be pointless to privatise the parastatal if the private company is going to maintain the monopoly that the PTC has today. Inefficiency hidden behind the profits will continue to prevail.

With the current backlog and lack of development in the country would the private telephone companies be able to provide telephone and postal services to rural areas where the majority of the people live ? Or the situation will end up like the property market where millions of dollars are being poured into the central business districts of Harare and Bulawayo while thousands of people in the same cities are on the housing waiting list?

Will people still afford to post letters? If not what means of communication will be provided?

This brings in another major question. Is privatisation, in the case of such vital institutions, the answer? If not, perhaps what is needed is efficient and competent managers? One other major question is: are private companies that are monopolies doing as well as they would if there was competition?

(53 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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