NetOne, Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile operator, has opened talks with South African telecoms firm Telkom on a possible joint venture.
NetOne is one of 35 state-owned enterprises that have been put up for partial or full privatisation by Government, which is seeking to prune some of its loss-making firms. Government announced in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme announced by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube last Friday that Cabinet had approved for NetOne to start negotiations on a joint venture agreement with Telkom.
Speaking at Chatham House in London on Monday, Ncube said he has set a deadline of six to nine months to complete the privatisation of state firms. Previously, Telkom had shown interest in a deal with TelOne. In 2010, another South African firm, MTN, abandoned an attempt to take over 51 percent of NetOne.