COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEFEskom deal to add R1 billion to wage bill
Eskom welcomed a one-year wage deal in its negotiations with unions for a 7% wage increase at the power utility.
However, the utility warned that the recovery of its power system would take some time to recover from serious backlogs in recent weeks, which triggered Stage 6 load shedding.
The deal comes after a deadlock at the Central Bargaining Forum (CBF) wage negotiations led to protest disruptions at several Eskom sites, causing load shedding to escalate.
However, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), and Solidarity returned to the CBF on Friday and a deal was signed on Tuesday afternoon.
Eskom said in a statement that the agreement would add more than R1 billion to the overall wage bill between July 2022 and June 2023.
"This, of course, will be a struggle for Eskom to afford. It is important to note that while the workforce is returning to work, the system will still take some time to recover. As a result of the strike, maintenance work has had to be postponed, and this backlog will take time to clear," the statement said. -Fin24
Zapper may be valued at US$1 billion
Zapper is considering options to raise capital, including a stake sale, that could value the South African startup at nearly US$1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Cape Town-based mobile payments business hired Ernst & Young as advisers on a potential deal, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is still private. Zapper may also consider a combination with a strategic bidder, they said.
“Management is excited by future opportunities, underpinned by an innovative technology roadmap,” a Zapper spokesperson said in response to questions about a potential deal. Interested parties place “us in excellent standing for ongoing and future discussions,” the person said, declining to comment further.
African startups attracted a record US$5 billion in fundraising rounds last year as investors backed firms trying to fix the continent’s thorniest problems, such as insufficient banking infrastructure. Fintech companies have expanded rapidly over the past few years, with several attaining “unicorn” status with valuations of more than US$1 billion.
Zapper, started in 2014, operates a mobile payments platform with about 250 000 customers and 65 000 merchants. It’s solution enables quick settlements use QR code and URL technology and the use of data insights to award discounts. -Fin24
Cell C moves closer to recapitalisation
Cell C lenders have voted in favour of a compromise cash out offer of 20c for every R1 of debt, bringing the company's recapitalisation closer to fruition, it was announced on Tuesday.
Cell C's described the latest development as a "critical milestone in the financial restructuring and recapitalisation" of its business.
The company's major shareholder, Blue Label Telecoms, now expects the recapitalisation process to be finalised by late July.
Cell C and its shareholders have over the past two years been working on the cash injection plan for the operator which was hit by liquidity challenges that saw Blue Label, which owns a 45% stake in the firm, write down the carrying value of its Cell C investment to zero.
The company is saddled with a debt of around R7.3 billion.
"This is a significant step in the overall process to deleverage Cell C’s balance sheet," Cell C Douglas Craigie Stevenson about the development. -Fin24
Umgeni Water appoints another acting CEO
KwaZulu-Natal's largest water board, Umgeni Water, has appointed Sipho Manana as Acting CEO to replace Mboniseni Dlamini, whose contract expired at the end of June, it was announced on Tuesday.
Manana, who previously held the position of group chief shared services officer, will hold the top post until the board of the KwaZulu-Natal- based water entity finds a permanent candidate for the job.
The board said in a statement it had "full confidence that he will be equal to the task and will steer the organisation to greater heights".
Umgeni Water has had numerous changes in its top management over the past two years. Dlamini, who has now left, was appointed in November 2021 following the resignation of former acting CEO Nomalungelo Mkhize in October 2021, who quit with immediate effect.
Sandile Dube was then made acting CEO.
In October 2020, the board's last permanent CEO, Thamsanqa Hlongwa, resigned with immediate effect. No reasons were given for his departure. -Fin24