SA Govt to blame for Telkom woes says Solidarity
South Africa's Solidarity Union has blamed the government for Telkom's financial woes.

On Monday the company offered thousands of employees "voluntary separation" and early retirement packages.

Telkom said it had made the offer in order to reduce costs.

"There is an urgent need for the company to address its human capital requirements which impacts substantially and directly on the company's cost base," said Telkom's Chief of Human Resources Thami Msubo.

Solidarity said the company's decision amounted to "emotional and financial extortion" adding that Telkom's financial problems were the "direct result of government's close involvement and interference in the parastatal's business".

Last year, South Korea's KT Corp offered to buy a stake in Telkom, a bid that was rejected by the Cabinet who said that it was a strategic asset.

Solidarity warned then that the decision could lead to Telkom having to cut costs due to a lack of capital, which could lead to the retrenchment of thousands of employees.

Moira-Marie Kloppers, spokesperson for Solidarity, said it is unfair that Telkom's employees should be punished for poor management caused by government interference.

"Last year, cabinet put paid to Telkom's planned multi billion rand deal with the South Korean KT Corporation, and Solidarity then warned that it could lead to Telkom having to cut costs due to a lack of capital, which could lead to the retrenchment of thousands of employees," she said.

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