Govt's Telkom stake up for sale

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 25 Oct 2017
Finance minister Malusi Gigaba.
Finance minister Malusi Gigaba.

MTBPS 2017: The South African government plans to dispose of a portion of its Telkom shares, with an option to buy them back at a later stage.

So says finance minister Malusi Gigaba, who delivered the 2017 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament this afternoon.

Government, which holds a 39% shareholding in Telkom, did not clarify how the stake would be disposed.

Gigaba stated: "The expenditure ceiling is threatened in the current year, as a result of government's recapitalisation of South African Airways (SAA) and the South African Post Office. Government is disposing of a portion of its Telkom shares to avoid a breach, with an option to buy them back at a later stage."

On 30 August, Telkom confirmed via the JSE's Stock Exchange News Service that government was considering selling part of its stake in the telco, after speculation that government was planning to use the sale to raise funds to bailout struggling SAA.

Telkom said at the time that government was "considering various strategic options with regards to partially reducing its current approximate 39% shareholding in Telkom".