[DEBATE] : Sindy, Oh Sindy, Sindy don't let me down
dominic.tweedie at gmail.com
Sun May 17 07:56:35 BST 2009
Cosatu in bid to block Vodacom's listing on JSE
Edwin Naidu, Sunday Independent, Johannesburg, 17 May 2009
Tomorrow's planned listing on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange
(JSE) by Vodacom, the country's biggest cellphone operator, is in
doubt with Cosatu going to the Pretoria High Court this morning
seeking an urgent interdict to stop it.
Zwelinzima Vavi, Cosatu's secretary-general, said the deal would lead
to job losses and put Vodacom, said to be worth at least R70 billion,
in foreign hands.
In a double blow for Vodacom, the Independent Communications Authority
of South Africa (Icasa), the telecommunications regulator, said on
Friday that Vodacom should delay the listing until public hearings had
Vavi said: "We are going to court to ensure the listing does not go
ahead. What is the point in Icasa holding public hearings if the
listing goes ahead?"
Dot Field, the Vodacom spokeswoman, said last night: "We have been
served an urgent application by Cosatu and Icasa to interdict the
Vodacom listing on Monday. We are opposing." The matter will be heard
in the Gauteng North court at 10am this morning.
The listing - believed to be one of the biggest on the JSE - was
announced in March after Telkom decided to unbundle its 35 percent
stake in Vodacom to shareholders after selling a 15 percent stake to
joint Vodacom owner Vodafone, the British cellphone giant.
Pieter Uys, Vodacom's CEO, told The Sunday Independent in March that
the deal would give citizens a chance to own a stake in the company.
He said no jobs would be lost.
Vodacom has more than 37 million customers and its mobile network
covers 179 million people across South Africa, Tanzania, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho and Mozambique.
Jubie Matlou, the spokesman for Icasa, said yesterday that the
authority had not received any reply from Vodacom on its request.
"In the interest of transparency, the authority finds it appropriate
that a public process be followed to allow all interested parties to
be heard," he said.
Earlier, Nicky Newton-King, the JSE deputy chief executive, told
Reuters yesterday that the planned listing remained "on track".
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