South African government mulling sale of Telkom stake

27 Sep 2017

The South African government is reportedly looking to sell its shares in telecoms provider Telkom South Africa to fund the bailout of cash-strapped South African Airways (SAA), TechCentral writes. Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane has reportedly revealed that the government had approached state-owned asset manager the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) – with roughly ZAR1.9 trillion (USD142 billion) in assets – to consider buying the state’s share of Telkom’s capital in order to cover SAA’s funding gap of about ZAR10 billion. However, PIC chief executive Dan Matjila said that his company would be keen to acquire a part of government’s stake, but not the entire shareholding, in order to avoid overexposure to the telecoms provider.

TeleGeography notes that the South African government held a 39.3% stake in Telkom as of September 2016, making it the company’s largest shareholder by some distance, while the PIC owned 11.6% of the company’s share capital; none of the other shareholders had more than 5% of the company at that date.

South Africa, Telkom South Africa