’We’re not pri­vatis­ing Telkom’ ‒ Fi­nance Min­is­ter


Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion and Postal Ser­vices Min­is­ter Siyabonga Cwele says govern­ment will soon es­tab­lish a task team to en­gage Telkom on the sale of a por­tion of its shares to ad­dress a rev­enue short­fall.

The Min­is­ter said this shortly af­ter Fi­nance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba tabled the Medium Term Bud­get Pol­icy State­ment (MTBPS), in which he an­nounced the in­ten­tion to sell a por­tion of the State’s shares to avoid a risk of an ex­pen­di­ture ceil­ing breach of R3.9 bil­lion. The ex­pen­di­ture breach risk was brought about by the re­cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of SA Airways (SAA) and the South African Post Of­fice (SAPO) amount­ing to R13.7 bil­lion.

Speak­ing to SAnews in Cape Town, the Min­is­ter said govern­ment de­cided to sell the Telkom shares in­stead of bor­row­ing to fill the hole in or­der to main­tain fis­cal dis­ci­pline. “So the strat­egy is to use what­ever money we have to cut down the debt and in­vest in key strate­gic as­sets – our State-owned com­pa­nies. That is the ap­proach we are tak­ing with the Post Of­fice, so that we con­tinue to re­spect our ex­pen­di­ture ceil­ing and fis­cal dis­ci­pline.

“We are ba­si­cally lever­ag­ing on our ex­ist­ing as­sets. We are not pri­vatis­ing Telkom," Gi­gaba said. “As govern­ment, we are go­ing to set up a task team that will en­gage with the man­age­ment of Telkom so that we do this in a struc­tured man­ner, not in a man­ner that may af­fect the share value of the in­vestors of Telkom.”

Mean­while, Labour Deputy Min­is­ter iNkosi Patek­ile Holomisa says the de­part­ment will soon ta­ble the Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage Bill be­fore Par­lia­ment for pro­cess­ing. The bill will give ef­fect to the an­nounce­ments made on the Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage by Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa ear­lier this year that were aimed at ad­dress­ing wage in­equal­ity. – SAnews.gov.za

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