Financially constrained state-owned enterprises such as Eskom and South African Airways may soon not have a choice on whether to pursue semi-privatisation in order to get their books in order, say some analysts. Over the past few years, partly privatised Telkom has emerged as one of the best-run companies of which the state is the controlling shareholder. Management has turned around the telecoms company while modernising operations. One analyst, who declined to be named in line with company policy, said semi-privatisation would be beneficial for SOEs even though it was not a direction that the government was prioritising. The reaction of the market to even a whiff of impropriety was keeping Telkom in check, he said. Private-sector regulatory oversight increased governance and limited corruption. Competitive environment Dominic Cull, telecoms analyst at Ellipsis, said Telkom's partial privatisation served the company well and it was clear the current management had improved market p...

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