Telkom may be about to secure a R22,5-billion windfall for offloading its 50% stake in Vodacom but it has never been under the kind of pressure it is currently facing.
Vodafone's R22,5-billion offer for a further 15% in Vodacom, which was announced late last week, has resulted in Moody's Investors Service placing Telkom's credit ratings under review for a possible downgrade.
At the same time Telkom is facing increased pressure from Neotel, the competitive enterprise and consumers services of which have enticed many valuable Telkom customers to jump ship, while mobile players like MTN and Vodacom are successfully taking it on in the broadband space, because of its inability to meet demand.
Add to this the fact that Telkom announced this week that its big restructuring programme, which would have seen its core business outsourced in an attempt to turn the tele*coms giant into what management envisions would be a leaner, meaner fighting machine, has been suspended.
The telco was looking to outsource a substantial amount of its core business, including its network operations, information operations and Telkom Direct shops.
It was expected that the deal would have affected 19 000 of Telkom's 26 000 staff, which obviously did not sit well with the unions.
"The unions have obviously brought some significant pressure to bear," said IDC telecoms analyst Richard Hurst. "Telkom will have to relook at how they are going to do this."
full story from M&G here