Telkom to cut workforce by 40%: report

South African telecommunications firm, Telkom, is looking to trim as much as 40% of its total workforce as part of an ongoing effort to cut costs.

This is according to a report from Bloomberg, which said that the JSE-listed company aims to cut its workforce to about 8,000 by July – having identified 6,250 positions that it wants to eliminate.

The company’s workforce is at 13,895 as of 29 January, Bloomberg said. Telkom’s staff count in 2015 was put at 18,333 – down from 19,197 in 2014, and 21,209 in 2013.

Citing an internal document, Bloomberg said that a plan known as Project High Ground, will see reductions come from outsourcing 3,750 positions to other companies and moving a further 2,000 to a company it bought, Business Connexion.

A further 500 positions would be cut altogether.

“To secure the future sustainability of Telkom, we have to take serious actions to manage the very difficult environment within which we operate,” spokeswoman Jacqui O’Sullivan said.

“Data prices continue to drop while demand grows and we face all of this with a cost base that is not aligned to local competitors and global trends.”

Telkom’s current employee cost-to-income ratio is about 24%, which it wants to reduce to 16%, Bloomberg noted.

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Telkom to cut workforce by 40%: report