South Africa’s government appears to have backtracked on plans to sell a stake in operator Telkom for the time being, comments made by CEO Sipho Maseko indicated.
The government, which owns a 40.5 per cent stake in Telkom, opened up the possibility of selling some or all of its holdings in the operator in 2017, as a means of raising funds to aid national airline South African Airways.
However, during the company’s annual financial results presentation Maseko said talks regarding a possible sale had “gone very quiet”, South African publication TechCentral reported.
He said the country’s former finance minister Malusi Gigaba, who had initially raised the possibility of a sale, had implemented a range of revenue raising measures over the last year which had reduced the need to raise additional funds through a sale of Telkom shares.
“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?”
Maseko added he had met with the country’s President Cyril Ramaphosa over the weekend and said he “didn’t get a sense” a sale was high on the list of priorities.