The government of South Africa appears to be reconsidering its planned sale of a stake in mobile operator Telkom, of which it holds 40.5%.
Last year, the country’s government expressed an interest in selling part or all of its holding in Telkom in order to generate funding for the national air carrier, South African Airways. However, while presenting the operator’s annual financial results, CEO Sipho Maseko noted that such discussions had “gone very quiet”.
Maseko noted that measures enacted by former finance minister Malusi Gigaba - who originally suggested selling some or all of the stake –had succeeded in generating revenue, thereby mitigating the need to bring in additional funds by selling off shares in Telkom.
“We might not be high up on the chopping block,” said Maseko. “They’ll have to say so themselves officially, but in different conversations with them it does look like the appetite is not as accentuated as it was. But who knows?”
He added that following a recent meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, he “didn’t get a sense” that a stake sale was at the top of the government’s agenda.