#MondayBlues: Potraz Challenges Gvt to avail forex the sector

The Postal Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe Potraz boss, Dr Gift Machengete has called upon the government of Zimbabwe’s ministry of finance to prioritise the ICT sector, and save it from the free fall.

The sector has seen serious tariff hikes as telecommunications operators grapple with operational costs against small revenue generation, forcing break even or imminent loss.

In his quarterly address the Potraz boss noted that the sector has not been receiving any forex support when it needs hard currency for most of its operational costs, an inhibiting con dition, which needs government; intervention.

The economic environment directly affects the performance of the postal and telecommunication sector. The inflationary environment, unavailability of credit, reduced consumer spending, inadequate foreign currency amongst other challenges continued to beset the sector.

said Machengete

Machengete said the situation has been aggravated by prolonged load-shedding, impacting overall quality of service, and raising the cost-of-service provision. Inadequate foreign currency has affected network expansion and maintenance efforts.

  • The first quarter of 2023 was characterised by a trend of

growing revenues, amidst rising operating costs across all subsectors, owing to the inflationary economic environment. Total postal and telecommunication sector revenue was ZWL275.3 billion in the first quarter of 2023, up from ZWL198.5 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022; this represents a quarterly variance of 38.7%. On the other hand, total postal and telecommunication sector operating costs grew by 37.7%, to record ZWL173.6 billion in the first quarter of 2023, up from ZWL126.1 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022.


Unlike other services that may have alternative local supply, the provision of telecommunication relies heavily on imports mainly equipment, software as well as bandwidth. The Sector should be prioritized in terms of government expenditure, resource mobilisation, foreign currency allocation, tax reforms amongst other issues, to enable it to fully realise its role as a key economic enabler.

he added

Never-the-less, there is still great scope for the sector and opportunities are awash. We envisage an emerging set of opportunities presented by the converged licensing framework as evidenced by an increase in applications for Mobile Virtual Network licences, which will boost competition in the sector. Digital transformation also presents significant opportunity for postal and courier operators in terms of improving service delivery, while pivoting to new more efficient business models.

While the widespread adoption of broadband offers several benefits, it also creates new security concerns and challenges. Data privacy and security are a top priority in the year ahead. The establishment of the Data Protection Authority will go a long way in creating a conducive environment for digital safety and confidence. To this end, the Authority will be seized with implementing the Cyber and Data Protection Act, which was promulgated in 2021, as it takes on its new role as the Data Protection Authority.


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