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Telkom, South Africa’s largest landline operator, yesterday reshuffled its top executives as the group sharpens its investment team while eyeing deals. 

The company said its incumbent chief financial officer (CFO), Deon Fredericks, would now head its team while his deputy, Tsholofelo Molefe, would take over as CFO with effect from next week. 

Telkom group chief executive Sipho Maseko said the appointment of Fredericks as chief investment officer would enable greater focus on the company’s investment strategy. 

“Fredericks’s experience, intimate knowledge of the business and our resource allocation philosophy makes him an ideal candidate to drive our investment strategy, following his positive contribution to the turnaround phase of the business,” Maseko said. 

“Our most recent set of annual financial results shows that our new revenue streams are beginning to offset Telkom’s traditional revenue streams. This confirms that we made the right investment decisions at the right time.” 

The group said last month it would spend up to 20 percent of its revenue on capital expenditure over the next three years, focusing on areas with strong returns such as mobile and fibre. 

This comes amid the prevailing trend of growing data revenue and declining fixed-line voice revenue. In the year to March, Telkom’s capital expenditure was R7.9 billion, which was 19.3 percent of revenue for the year. 

The announcement of the new CFO and chief investment officer comes hot on the heels of a newly appointed head of Telkom’s IT services business BCX. 

Telkom last month said Ian Russell had resigned as chief executive of BCX and that former Gijima chief executive Jonas Bogoshi would take his place. Russell’s resignation came just days after Telkom reported that BCX had reported poor financial results for the year to March 2018. 

BCX was the last big deal Telkom entered into after it bought the firm for R2.7bn in 2015. 

Molefe’s appointment as CFO did not come as a surprise as her appointment in 2016 as deputy CFO showed that a succession plan was in place. 

She was part of the three Eskom executives shunned by the Zola Tsotsi-led board for allegedly being an obstruction to corruption at the power utility. 

Molefe joined Eskom in 2005 and has held executive leadership roles in transmission, finance and customer services and as finance director.

-BUSINESS REPORT