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

SA minister votes against male-dominated Telkom board

Article Image
South Africa's digital communications and technologies minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has raised concerns over the lack of female representation on Telkom SA's board.

The minister, who represented the SA government as the operators biggest shareholder, voted against the nomination of several male directors during the company's Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday.

Of the six nominees, only two were women, but despite the minister's negative vote against the male appointments, all the directors nominated were voted in.

Ntshavheni said in a statement that she had already raised the issue of gender representation as an area of specific concern at last year's AGM.

She added that the board of directors at Telkom continued to show a lack of gender parity and the new appointments or re-appointments fly in the face of this genuine concern.

"It is worrisome that only 31% of the Board members are female. It is even worse to note that the Audit Committee has only one female in a five-member committee. In addition, the appointments do not consider succession planning in terms of introducing younger people in the Board," she said.

The minister will continue to advocate for and coordinate the government vote for the representation of both women and the youth in both the board and the executive management of Telkom, she added in the statement.

Ntshavheni said she voted on some of the resolutions as a matter of principle – highlighting that the telco had not been engaging with the government on certain resolutions despite the government being a 40.5% shareholder in the operator.

Telkom making headlines

The minister's stance comes at a time when there have been a lot of things happening at the SA telco.

In July, the telecoms operator sued the country's President Cyril Ramaphosa in an attempt to stop an investigation into some of its deals across Africa going back over 15 years.

Also in July, MTN and Telkom confirmed that the former had intentions of buying the latter.

In early August, South African data-only network, Rain, sent a formal request to present the Telkom board with a proposal to merge the two telecoms operators.

However, South Africa's Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) threw a spanner in the works and instructed Rain to retract its merger statement declaring the proposal as unlawful, according to a Reuters report. The network then retracted its offer to buy the telco.

Meanwhile, investment firm, Toto Consortium, has reportedly made an offer valued at 7 billion South African rand (US$433 million) for the SA government's 40% stake in Telkom, according to a Bloomberg report.

Analysts believe that Telkom's ICT business, BCX, would be a good asset to combine with MTN Business even though BCX has been struggling under the economic downturn due to COVID-19, global supply chain constraints and semiconductor chips shortages.

Related posts:

*Top image is of South African Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni briefing the media on the outcomes of a Cabinet meeting on May 26, 2021. (Source: GovernmentZA on Flickr via CC 2.0).

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

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.

Video

Podcast: What's the Story? African tech startups score $3.3B in funding

Connecting Africa's Paula Gilbert joins this Light Reading podcast to explain why the fintech sector is bringing in the most funding, which countries are leading the way for most funding and what these trends mean for the continent as a whole.

More Innovation hub

Sponsored video

More videos

Flash poll

All polls

Latest video

More videos

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

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.

Story

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.

Story

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

Guest Perspectives

Story

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.

Story

Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.

More Guest Perspectives

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up