Just over 10 years ago it was illegal to make a Skype call from South Africa.

Essentially, it was only legal for specially-licensed telecommunications operators, like Telkom, to carry voice calls in South Africa.

More significant than the unenforceable outlawing of Skype was the fact that only Telkom, mobile operators, and a handful of other players could legally offer voice services in South Africa.

Competition was extremely limited.

On 2 September 2004, then Minister of Communications Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri announced that this would change.

Not only would licensed value added network services (VANS) be allowed to offer voice services using whichever protocol they chose, they would also be allowed to build their own networks.

These new rules were set to kick in on 1 February 2005, and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) would finally be legal in South Africa.