Johannesburg - The government, a top shareholder in Telkom
[JSE:TKG], could delist and nationalise the struggling telecoms operator,
Business Day newspaper reported, citing a source close the communication
“The government is looking for a way to direct Telkom to
meet its development agenda without being hampered by the rules of the JSE,”
the nation’s leading business daily quoted the source as saying.
Earlier this month, the government, which together with the
state-run pension fund hold over 50% of Telkom, rejected KT Corp’s $385m offer
for a stake in the company, saying the firm was a strategic asset in its plan
to roll out internet to all South Africans by 2020.
The deal would have diluted the government holding to less
Analysts have said the rejection of KT’s offer underscored
the apparent determination of the government not to cede control of a company
that many in the ruling African National Congress view as an arm of
The ANC last year tried unsuccessfully to roll back approval
for Walmart's $2.4bn acquisition of retailer Massmart Holdings [JSE:MSM].
A communication department spokesperson could
not be immediately reached for comment.
Telkom, in which the government and a state-run pension fund
own more than 50%, gained as much as 7.86%. It gave up some of those gains to
trade 4% higher at R21.16 by 07:24 GMT.