Telkom is working on a plan to boost its black ownership above 30% and the telecoms group wants to reach that target without diluting existing shareholders, says CEO Sipho Maseko. Regulators have floated the idea that mobile operators must be at least 30% black-owned to bid for spectrum — a requirement that most in the industry currently fall short on. Market leader Vodacom, for instance, has black ownership of about 20% after completing a new empowerment deal. In the year to March, Telkom raised its black ownership from 14.3% to 24.4% thanks to the growth of the group’s employee share scheme, which Maseko introduced in 2013 shortly after his appointment as CEO.

"We constantly look at the imperatives for us to be a credible market participant, and the 30% BEE [black economic empowerment] ownership [hurdle] is one of those," Maseko told Business Day on Friday. "I think we’ve got solid plans around making sure that we reach that 30% designation — hopefully without having to dilu...

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