South Africa trade unions oppose Telkom privatization

South Africa trade unions oppose Telkom privatization

South Africa’s incumbent, Telkom, is the first public utilities company that the government is planning to privatize, with an IPO scheduled for later this year.

Since the privatization is likely to set a precedent for future privatizations of public utilities, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is preparing to oppose the move using all its power including a wave of demonstrations and a threatened general strike.

Cosatu is opposed to the privatization primarily due to the restructuring that is expected to follow, that could see more than 5,000 workers loosing their jobs.

The trade unions have suggested that the shares be sold to cooperatives established by Telkom workers as opposed to the general public. This could help protect the workers interests in the privatization.

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