Telkom South Africa’s outgoing chairman Lazarus Zim has made a fresh appeal to the government to allow a stake sale that could help enhance the telco’s credit rating and borrowing capacity. His comments have come in the wake of the government’s decision to block a bid by South Korea’s KT Corporation to buy a 20% stake in Telkom. Speaking at Telkom’s annual general meeting, prior to his sudden departure, Zim said that KT was prepared to put ‘skin in the game’ by investing ZAR3 billion (USD343.3 million) in the ailing telco. He called the move the move ‘tragic’ and described it as a ‘big loss’.
At the board meeting Telkom representatives also proposed that the government should look at consolidation in the mobile sector, with the local media recently speculating that Telkom’s mobile unit 8ta could merge with established player Cell C. Zim dismissed that speculation, adding: ‘It is not proper of me to say here what recommendations we have made. We need to give government space, time … to look at all the inputs’.