A number of big layoffs are taking place in the South African telecoms sector, with the latest updates seeing a managerial exodus from Telkom, and a slight reprieve for MTN employees.
More than 300 Telkom SA managers have left the company voluntarily in the landline provider’s restructuring process, trade union, Solidarity said on Thursday.
Telkom is slashing jobs from a management layer of 2,650 posts to make it more agile in an aggressively competitive environment.
Most of the managers have been placed in new positions, but another 104 do not have the skills required for an outstanding 168 positions yet to be filled.
They might still be forcibly laid off, Solidarity spokesman Marius Croucamp told Reuters.
“They are still trying to match that group of 104 within the 168 posts still available in the new structure. And those that cannot be reasonably match will be forcibly retrenched,” he said.
Cell C job cuts in question
Earlier this week, Solidarity reported that it had received confidential information that Cell C is planning further retrenchments in addition to those that have already been announced recently.
The union revealed on 10 October that Cell C was in consultations which would affect the jobs of about 190 employees – either through possible retrenchment or redeployment in other areas of the business.
While Cell C would not comment on the future of its retrenchment processes, the group said that the process of “rightsizing” its business was continuous.
“Cell C is continuously assessing the operational requirements and needs of certain areas in the company in order to enhance efficiencies, streamline the business and avoid a duplication of functions.”
Silver lining at MTN
MTN meanwhile, has confirmed that about 400 staff members stand to lose their jobs – a figure significantly lower than initial reports.
MTN Group plans to lay off about half of its 850 managers in South Africa, the mobile operator said on Thursday, well below the number of job cuts predicted by union officials.
South Africa’s Solidarity union, which largely represents skilled workers, said in August MTN had plans to lay off 850 managers.
After years of robust growth, MTN is facing increased competition both at home and abroad.