MTN Zakhele scheme disappoints

It has become certain that the trading of MTN Zakhele shares will remain suspended for the next 12 days with indications that the buying and selling of the shares may resume on the 17th of December 2013.

MTN Zakhele administrators released a statement today saying the “trading in ordinary shares is due to resume on Tuesday, 17 December via an online platform and call centre, provided system changes and testing processes prove successful.”

If the trading resumes on the 17th of December, it will mean that the eagerly awaited trading of the MTN Zakhele shares would have been halted for two weeks. This is after the BBBEE investment scheme with about 120000 investors launched the trading platform on Monday last week, the 25th of November 2013. This was to allow investors who bought into the scheme to trade their shares and also allow other black people to join the scheme.

Technical glitches were apparent when the scheme was launched on Monday last week with would be traders expressing difficulty of accessing the over the counter trading platform. The same was visible on the second day. On the third day, the 26th of December 2013, MTN Zakhele administrators moved to suspend the trading citing technical challenges. MTN Zakhele chairperson, Thulani Gcabashe, said the platform was overloaded.

In the statement released today, Gcabashe, said “The level of interest had far exceeded expectations and the system did not cope as it was not designed for these volumes.”

We decided to only resume trading when we have a robust system that has been tested against much higher volumes, for the protection of our shareholders and the security of the trading platform as a whole.”

We are aiming to have the necessary capacity added to the system and all changes thoroughly tested before the 17th December. The capacity of the call centre is also being increased to handle a much higher volume of calls. Should we be satisfied with the system and the results of our testing, trading will proceed.”

Cgabashe added that “We sincerely regret the delays and any inconvenience which users may have experienced.”

I can assure you that we are taking this very seriously and this is evident in the steps we have taken to address the problem, as well as the time we have allowed to volume test the system.”

The elongated suspension of the MTN Zakhele trading platform will disappoint many who were hoping to trade these shares.  The scheme is now faced with a possibility of losing potential traders who may now divert monies they had budgeted for the scheme into other needs. The fact that this happens in December where money can easily be diverted is not helping the situation.

  • This is a huge and expensive disappointment. Someone must be held accountable for this. Heads myst roll. MTN must intervene because it is their brand that is being dragged across a muddy zone.

  • This is very disappointin and portrays a lack of proper planning and professionalism on MTN’s side. Initially I intended re-investing my money into the scheme, but I have now lost complete confidence. Surely they should have known how many investors they had and should have had a contingency plan to accomodate all investors. We bought the shares over the counter at the Post office so why could we not trade our shares there? And what about investors without internet access or any knowledge of the internet? Pathetic! That’s all I can say….mxm

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