Telkom gets Cell C CEO backing

Cell C CEO, Alan Knott-Craig says that Telkom’s problems are because of decisions made a decade ago, and that Telkom’s current management should not be blamed for the company’s ills.

Speaking to 702’s Bruce Whitfield, Knott-Craig said that scale is needed to take on the likes of Vodacom and MTN.

“In the South African market, where dominated players occupy 85% of the market share, you need to get scale,” said Knott-Craig. “You can either grow the scale, which is what Cell C is doing, which takes time. The quicker way to do it is through some form of merger or acquisition activity.”

Asked whether there are deals which could be done between Cell C and Telkom, Knott-Craig said that there are definitely deals that could be done which make sense. However, the Cell C CEO said that whether these deals will ever be done is “another question”.

Knott-Craig downplayed Bruce Whitfields comments that Telkom is a mess, riddled with problems and bureaucratic processes. “Telkom is a good company. They have made a few mistakes, but I would not have a problem with that [with working with Telkom] at all,” said Knott-Craig.

Alan Knott-Craig
Alan Knott-Craig

“Some of the ills which are plaguing Telkom are not the fault of Telkom’s current management. These are things which were done ten years ago, and Telkom’s current management has to pay the price,” said Knott-Craig.

“We forget that some of the things which went wrong were initiated many years ago, and we should really be looking back to who the culprits were.”

“We should not necessarily focus on the current management and think they are doing a bad job. I think they have a tough job trying to get themselves out of this sticky mess.”

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Telkom gets Cell C CEO backing