PRIVATISATION: NetOne in talks with South Africa’s Telkom

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By Bloomberg

STATE-OWNED mobile operator has begun talks with Telkom about a possible joint venture, the head of the country’s privatisation agency said.

Treasury is accelerating the sale of government assets to raise money needed to fix infrastructure such as roads and hospitals that have fallen into disrepair after almost two decades of misrule under former President Robert Mugabe.

NetOne is one of at least 35 companies earmarked by the state to be offered to private investors.

“We are still consulting within government, but we are discussing it,” Zimbabwean State Enterprises Restructuring Agency CEO Edgar Nyoni said on Wednesday. “For now, we can’t give out details to third parties, but we are discussing it.”

Zimbabwe has three mobile phone companies: Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, Telecel Zimbabwe and NetOne.

Telkom declined to comment on whether it is in talks. The company evaluates business opportunities “in line with our ambition to invest for growth and generate returns”, it said.