Is there any reason to invest in Telkom? Not really, according to many investors; it is not even paying a dividend.
Its financial results, released on Friday, gave absolutely no cause for optimism and government's scuppering of the deal with foreign investor KT Corporation did its reputation no favours.
All in all, things do not look good for the lumbering flat-footed telecommunications company.
Unless you are the government, that is. The government has made it clear that Telkom is a "strategic asset", although this is not self evident. It will not be receiving dividends from its stake in Telkom in this past financial year. However, it may just come upon a little windfall. In fact, it may be the only shareholder to do so.
Telkom indicated on Friday that it is not against settling its competition issues by way of a fine. Its potential fine for anti-competitive behaviour could be in the region of R3bn. These fines are paid to the Competition Commission which, in turn, hands them over to the National Revenue Fund.
The money-go-round back into the fiscus will no doubt be welcomed by government in lieu of a dividend. Other shareholders, however, are not so lucky.Government uses labour brokers
The Post Office strike is over. One has to announce this as few people realised it had started in the first place.
The strike was largely carried out by casual workers, many of whom have been casual workers for a decade, with no hope of being recognised as permanent staff.
These casual labourers are, interestingly, hired by labour brokers - the very same labour brokers that government wants to ban, without admitting, I am sure, that it is a rather large user of them.Mining suffers while talk continues
The Mining Lekgotla held this week reflected the unhappy truth that, as the debate around policy, production and investment in the industry continues to gain momentum and intensify, the actual industry continues to steadily decline.
Despite our vast mineral wealth, South African mining production appears to be on a downward spiral.
We talk and we talk, but we don't do.'Under the table' is stuff of business
Have South African companies greased palms to get going in other countries? This is the crux of the whole MTN/Turkcell debacle.
No matter what the conclusion is in the case of MTN, one cannot help but suspect that sometimes companies have employed some nifty footwork to get established in other countries.
Some executives will report the unbelievable difficulty in trying to establish operations in certain countries by the book, only realising later that this is impossible. Others, however, will not say a word but indicate that it was easy. I think that, in many places, it is near impossible to establish a business without some "under the table" stuff.
Source: Business Times via I-Net Bridge