Telkom retrenchments not cast in stone: Maseko

Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko has reassured employees at the listed telco that a large scale clear-out of staff, including as many as 1,000 managers, is not “cast in stone”.

An internal email seen by BusinessTech, Maseko told Telkom staff: “We are currently working on proposals. Bringing about a reduction in the workforce is under discussion but no decision has been taken.”

Bloomberg recently reported that Telkom is planning to sack as many as 1,000 managers as part of a strategy to turn the struggling telco around.

According to the report, in addition to its 21,000 employees, Telkom also uses approximately 3,000 contracted employees.

“The year has hardly started and already a contentious issue has arisen. Let me take a moment to put the matter into perspective,” Maseko said in an internal email.

Sipho Maseko
Sipho Maseko

“It is unarguably so that Telkom’s financial performance is indicative of the tough environment. Even though we’ve succeeded in stabilising the business, our earnings remain under pressure.”

“We therefore have no choice but to continue optimising internal costs, improving productivity, growing revenue and responding to customers’ needs,” he said.

“I can assure you that we will never proceed with such a step in a reckless manner. We will also not proceed without first discussing it with organised labour in the right Forums. Also, staff will not learn of something as important as this in the media. It goes without saying that you will be kept in the loop at all times,” Maseko said.

He appealed for his workforce to not feel “disheartened or anxious”.

“Focus on your job and contribute to the company’s well-being by doing what is expected of you to the very best of your ability.”

“Our turnaround programme will continue unabated. Stabilising the company is not the end of the journey, it is just the beginning,” Maseko said.

Telkom has a seen a turnaround in fortunes on the JSE, since the appointment of Maseko as CEO, up 96% over the past year to R32.75 in midday trade on Friday (17 January), from a worst figure of  R11.34 in May last year.

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Telkom retrenchments not cast in stone: Maseko