By Pride Mahlangu
Mobile operator Telecel Zimbabwe says it has formulated and adopted a five-year strategic plan to address recapitalisation issues.
In a statement, the mobile operator said its board and shareholders were aware of the challenges facing the company, with plans ahead to tackle the issues associated with recapitalisation.
“The Telecel board and shareholders are aware of the ongoing challenges. Plans are underway to address the issue of recapitalisation and in this regard, a five-year strategic plan has already been formulated and adopted,” it said.
“The finalisation of all outstanding financial statements is on course and this will open avenues for new funding from financial institutions.”
Telecel also said its operations have been affected by a number of issues but the major one was limited funding for the company over a long time.
“Telecel operations have been affected by a host of factors, both macro and micro economic, but attributed mainly to limited funding for the company over a long period of time, in the face of challenging economic conditions in Zimbabwe,” said the firm.
“Rapid depreciation of the local currency and the levels of tariff increases approved, which continue to lag behind inflation, have affected the ability to meet the foreign currency-denominated obligations, especially spares for equipment and service-level agreements and support.”
Recently, the Communication and Allied Services Workers Union of Zimbabwe (CASWUZ) appealed to the Government to intervene at the company saying it was on a brink of collapse.
But Telecel has refuted CASWUZ claims and indicated that it continues to offer quality and affordable service to its customers.
As part of efforts to tackle the challenges it was facing, the mobile operator said, it has been on an aggressive import-substitution and local skills transfer drive.
The firm said the technological operating costs it was facing were emanating from prolonged power outages at its main switching centres.
It said the ballooning of such costs was due to the use of alternative power, particularly diesel, and this in turn affected investment in base station in other parts of the country.
The mobile operator was also in discussions with the power authorities and Government to ensure a dedicated power line to the switching centres.
Telecel was also investing in alternative power solutions such as Tesla solar batteries for its base stations.
It said it will continue engaging all relevant authorities to ensure tariffs were adjusted in line with the cost movement of other basic operational costs.
Last year, Telecel said was working on clearing its licensing obligations of US$137,5 million to Government this year. The Chronicle