Retrofit (PVT) LTD v Posts and Telecommunications Corporation 1996 (1) SA 847: applicant requested the defendant to issue it with a License for the purpose of establishing a mobile cellular telephone service – state monopoly -- declarator -- right to freedom of expression -- locus standi in judicio -- matters not that the applicant’s predominant motivation in challenging the constitutionality of the Act is sourced in prospective financial gain.

Gubbay CJ:

In July 1993 the applicant requested the defendant to issue it with a license for the purpose of establishing a mobile cellular telephone service. The respondent refused to grant the license on the ground that the service was one over which it enjoyed a monopoly in terms of §26(1) of the Postal and Telecommunication Services Act Chap 250. The applicant contended that authority for the issue of the license existed in terms of the Radio communication Services Act Chap 252. The applicant sought (1) a declarator that §26(1) of the Postal and Telecommunication Services Act was inconsistent with the right to freedom of expression in terms of §20(1) of the Constitution and (2) an order directing the respondent to issue the applicant with a license.

Held as to the contention that the applicant had no locus standi in judicio in terms of §24(1) to seek redress for a contravention of the Declaration of Rights, in that only a person affected by the law who was also entitled to the benefit of the constitutional right, may invoke the right in question: under §20(1) the enjoyment of freedom of expression was conferred universally, on everyone, individual and corporate personality alike. If the monopoly granted to the defendant amounted to a hindrance of the right to freedom of expression, it was a hindrance committed to everyone. It matters not that the applicant’s predominant motivation in challenging the constitutionality of §26(1) of the Act is sourced in prospective financial gain.

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