Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Business of Tech

Telkom SA will decide on Rain merger by December

Article Image
Telkom South Africa will decide whether a merger with Rain is "a go or a no-go" by the end of December 2022.

That's according to Telkom Group CEO Serame Taukobong, who was answering a question from Connecting Africa about the possible merger of the two telcos during Telkom's interim results presentation on Wednesday.

"Currently from Rain we have received a proposal, there is no firm binding documents. The teams have been engaging to try to understand what the potential synergies or opportunities for growth are across these two organizations," Taukobong said. "So, at this point in time it's all informal conversations. We have set ourselves a target by the end of December to be at a go or no-go position."

In October, Rain, a South African data-only network operator, proposed that Telkom acquire it to "create a credible third player" to compete in South Africa. In fact, Rain made its intentions of merging with Telkom known back in August but was later forced to withdraw its proposal by the Takeover Regulation Panel.

Still hope for MTN

The Rain proposal came after news broke in July that MTN wanted to buy Telkom in a deal that would see the consolidation of the second-and third-biggest mobile operators in South Africa.

MTN decided to call it quits in October because "Telkom was not in a position to provide MTN with assurances around exclusivity." But Taukobong said Telkom was still open to MTN coming back to the negotiation table.

"With MTN as we indicated, the talks were stalled. However, the strategic imperative and rationale behind the MTN and Telkom partnership still remains intact," he told Connecting Africa. "We will be open to continue conversations further, if MTN comes back [to the table]."

Part of the appeal for MTN is likely Telkom's wholesale infrastructure subsidiary, Openserve, which has an extensive fiber network in South Africa.

When asked if Telkom would be willing to sell off Openserve on its own, Taukobong said it would not make sense.

"If you look at the story behind Openserve, its role is in helping us realize our broadband strategy. It is a core asset for us. We are definitely not considering selling a majority of Openserve," he said.

Telkom reported lower interim earnings and revenue for the six months ended September 30, 2022, due to constrained consumer spending and rising operating costs.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Rain.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.


Afretec awards $3.3M in grants to African research teams

The African Engineering and Technology Network (Afretec) has awarded grants worth $300,000 each to 11 university research teams across Africa to advance digital technologies.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.


Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.


Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up