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Funds to connect the poor lie unused

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A fund designed to bring telecommunications services to the poor is languishing unused – even though there is clearly a crying need for connectivity. 

According to a report in today's Business Day, about R261-million in funds collected from telecommunications operators, and earmarked to help with development, has been unused.
The Universal Service & Access Agency has so far received about R195-million but, until now, has been unable to present a compelling business plan to use the rest.
However, the agency has recently been overhauled, with a new chairman at the helm, and is now demanding access to the money.