'Telkom must balance interests' - Carrim - TechCentral

‘Telkom must balance interests’ – Carrim

Yunus Carrim

Yunus Carrim

Newly appointed communications minister Yunus Carrim has said that Telkom must balance the interests of all of its shareholders, including government.

He made the remarks in statement following a meeting on Thursday with Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko and chairman Jabu Mabuza. Deputy communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams also attended the “meet and greet”.

“The purpose of the meeting was to share information about government priorities and explore ways in which Telkom can contribute to government’s goal of reducing the cost to communicate. The meeting also served as a platform to strengthen relations between the shareholder and Telkom,” Carrim’s office said in a statement following the meeting’s conclusion.

“While we respect the fact that Telkom is a listed company, as a majority shareholder it is important that we engage the executive leadership of the company from time to time around its strategy going forward and its turnaround,” said Carrim.

Carrim’s predecessor, Dina Pule, who was sacked a month ago by president Jacob Zuma, was heavily criticised for intervening in Telkom’s affairs.

Pule’s recommendation to cabinet that it block a proposal, led by Moholi, to sell a 20% equity stake in Telkom to Korea’s KT Corp is believed to have played a big role in the decision by former Telkom CEO Nombulelo Moholi to tender her resignation.

“It is up to Telkom to balance the interests of all shareholders,” Carrim said in Thursday’s statement. “Telkom remains a major strategic asset for the country. We want to create a more enabling environment for us to work together.”

Government is Telkom’s largest shareholder, with a direct 39,8% stake.

He added that the meeting explored ways in which Telkom could contribute to the roll-out of broadband.

Mabuza said of the meeting: “We are happy that we have had an opportunity engage. We have found common ground for service delivery. We look forward to seeing the minister at our annual general meeting.”

Shortly after his appointment as Telkom’s chairman in November 2012, Mabuza told TechCentral that it was not up to government to devise a strategy for Telkom or for it to impose its will on the company. Rather, it was up to management, through the board of directors, to develop a strategy and sell that to shareholders, including government.

“I don’t see government as a shareholder any differently to the other shareholders,” he said.   — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media

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