Jabu Mabuza’s star is on the rise. After assuming the presidency of Business Unity SA (BUSA) a few months ago Mabuza has now been selected to join the board troubled telecommunications group Telkom.
However losses are mounting. Operating expenses were quoted at R31.3bn in the year ended March, a large bulk of which can be explained by the search for a place in the crowded mobile market.
In a statement also issued yesterday Telkom said its headline earnings were set to slip further by between 78% and 83% which means the group is set to report even bigger losses than the R1.6bn headline loss reported at the end of March this year. However speculation that Telkom may be cooking major corporate activity could see its troubles disappear with a stroke of a pen given the fact that it was largely pushed into these troubles by the unwise separation with its original mobile partner Vodacom.
Telkom announced yesterday two new appointments to its board. It was Mabuza and Kholeka Mzondeki. The group said in a statement “these appointments bring the number of directors to eight, which is the minimum requirement of the Memorandum of Incorporation. The group said board will also meet in due course to appoint a new chairman and make appointments to board subcommittees where necessary”.
The appointments come after Telkom lost seven board members in the past month or so. Lazarus Zim had earlier indicated that he would be relinquishing the chairperson’s post. He did so during an AGM last month. Then government together with the Public Investment Corporation voted out four non executive directors namely Sibusiso Sibisi, NP Mnxasana, PCS Luthuli and Y Waja. This was followed by the resignation of Telkom CEO Nombulelo Moholi and one other non executive director Phakama Dongwana. Moholi is serving a six months notice.
This left Telkom with a skeletal board.
In addition to his recent BUSA presidency Mabuza rose through the ranks of the gambling and leisure industries. He has served as the MD of Southern Sun Gaming, GCEO of Tsogo Sun and has served as a Chairman of the Board of South African Tourism.
Mabuza is currently the deputy chairperson of Tsogo Sun Holdings. He complemented his experience with executive education. These include Effective Leadership Program from Wharton School from University of Pennsylvania and the Executive Development Program Financial Statement Analysis from the John E Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.
A chartered accountant Mzondeki has also been also been appointed as a member of the Telkom Audit Committee. Having obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Botswana and a Diploma in Investment Management from the University of Johannesburg, she is a fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, United Kingdom. She previously served as CFO of Mintek and Masana Petroleum Solutions. She serves on a couple of other boards including Reunert, Sentula Mining, and Bauba Platinum.