Telkom 'needs skills, not foreign money'

2012-07-17 10:52

Johannesburg - Telecommunications group Telkom [JSE:TKG] requires “skills and competency” to implement a turnaround plan, not foreign investment, Communications Minister Dina Pule said in a report on Engineering News on Monday.

Responding to parliamentary questions on cabinet’s decision to halt a proposed deal between South Korean telecommunications group KT Corp and Telkom earlier this year, Pule said that Telkom needed to find the “best and most suitable” solution to its current challenges.

KT Corp intended to buy a 20% stake in Telkom for R2.6bn.

The South African government, Telkom’s top shareholder, rejected KT Corp's R3.3bn offer for a 20% stake in the telecoms firm last month, potentially scuppering the South Korean firm’s first foray into fast-growing Africa.

Had the venture been implemented‚ it would have resulted in KT acquiring a strategic equity shareholding of 20% in Telkom with the companies entering into a five-year co-source management services agreement to formalise the relationship and identify areas of mutual strategic and business co-operation.

Pule said earlier that Telkom was a strategic asset in the roll-out of South Africa’s 2020 broadband aims, but the group needed to “get back to its critical centre”.

She noted that Telkom was also key in government’s efforts to improve the skills of South Africa’s citizens.

The Department of Communications was undertaking assessments of all possible options available to Telkom and would report back to Cabinet in about two months.

It had been reported that the government plans to delist and nationalise the embattled operator, but the reports have not yet been confirmed.

On Friday, Telkom withdrew its cautionary announcement on the JSE, signalling an official end to talks with KT Corp.

Telkom shares were down on Tuesday morning, trading at R18.10 on the JSE.


  • rlong1952 - 2012-07-17 11:16

    Telkom 'needs skills, not foreign money' That has got to be the dumbest statement I have heard in a very long time. Just one point to consider and there are others too, does the dumb, idiotic ANC think that KT would invest all that money and not provide skills to back up their investment? I cannot believe that such ignorant and stupid people rule this once great nation and are turning it into the laughing stock of the world.

      fussed.anderson - 2012-07-17 11:31

      The reason behind the call for no investment into telkom would mean they would not have free reign over the money in the company and would have to answer for corrupt people in the company

      willie.vanschoor - 2012-07-17 12:08

      Telkom was once the leader in telecommunications on the African continent and in some fields a world leader! Where are the people who got telkom there in the first place Mr Minister............perhaps your "replacements" and policies are to blame!!!

      alan.jerrold - 2012-07-17 12:50

      True. I have worked for a Korean company and they certainly are extremely competent in the skills area. Just look at Samsung, LG, Hyundai and Kia who have come from nowhere 15 years ago to top brands today. KT would certainly have shaken up Telkom. The fact is that the only real advantage Telkom have at the moment is the 'last mile' of copper wire into homes. But with increasing wireless coverage and thousands of kilometres of fibre optic cable already laid, plus very skilled competition, Telkom are going to need all the help they can get in years to come. - 2012-07-17 13:29

      id just like to say: TELKOM SUCKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - 2012-07-17 13:36

      Privatise and break up this disastrous company + let in some competition – Nothing works better than letting the customers choose with their wallets rather than with a gun to their heads.

      oomkrummel.krummel - 2012-07-17 16:48

      Your STUPID policy of BEE and affirmative action will always limit your exposure to skills. Worse still, you won’t admit it, and the entire country WILL suffer...wake up government...we are ALL South African..not just the blacks..!!!!

  • boos.koos - 2012-07-17 11:31

    A little late don't you think? First you (ANC and supporters) destroy the country and NOW you realize you need skills? I have to agree with Balstrome.

  • fussed.anderson - 2012-07-17 11:31

    Start with EDUCATION

  • Reshan - 2012-07-17 11:40

    Pity BEE focuses on making politicians and their friends rich and not educating the youth...

  • don.richards.1044 - 2012-07-17 11:42

    Ah and the very skills that are required were disposed of due to the colour of their skin. Congratulations, you are now reaping what you sowed.

      almeleh - 2012-07-17 12:26

      The taxpayer is reaping what Telkom sowed.

  • justin.pretorius - 2012-07-17 11:43

    Telkom needs to vanish!!

      ricky.hammer.92 - 2012-07-17 16:29

      LOL - Check 18 thumbdowns for you from telkom employees reading news24 instead of doing their jobs. Privatize telkoms ninkompoop business and be done with it.

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-07-17 12:16

    Telkom needs to provide decent internet, our internet SUCKS

  • humbleoldgeorge - 2012-07-17 13:29

    Oh oh oh... they don't need whites either.

  • eric.martinsich - 2012-07-17 16:32

    Some comments on this postings tells me that there is alot of ignorance on the Cutting down of skills in Telkom.In 1994 the ANC took control of South Africa.In 1999 the Retrenchments started. The Americans came into South Africa already prior to the ANC taking control. So they were brought in by the previous Government. They then sold off much Telkom Assets (americans),so called re-organised Telkom and pushed the cutting of the staff. Much Much skills went out the door. Why bring in the skils from outsid ethe country when we can upskill our own people and re-employ those with the skills. Nationalise Telkom so that our country can grow and not send more money out of our country,

      flysouth - 2012-08-07 14:13

      Some years ago I spoke at length to a skilled (white) Telkom tech, about 30 years of age - he was installing my ADSL line. He told me that he was leaving for Aus in a few months time - at 3 times the salary, because he had been given notice of retrenchment by Telkom, where he had trained, and for whom he had worked all his life. He also pointed out that Telkom then were busy handing out such notices to another 19,999 of his colleagues on the technical side! This is governance - ANC style. We have really had quite enough of it now, since we are quite gatvol of hearing about these self-inflicted injuries from the very same people who caused all the problems in the first place!

  • bob.small.7547 - 2012-07-17 16:37

    You kicked the skilled workers out in favour of AA, now you are hitting technical, administrative and managerial suicide...! Tough! Time will be a lesson to you all who chased away the brain power from this country!

  • boltonbarry - 2012-07-17 16:56

    Every one knows that having skills are remnants of apartheid so therefore not acceptable

  • TheMonk Za - 2012-07-19 11:51

    Yes, skills which Telkom does not currently have.

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