It’s turning out to be a bleak start to the new year for employees at the partially state-owned telecommunications operator Telkom.
The company on Wednesday served trade unions with notices that it intends to issue section 189 notices to employees in its wholesale division Openserve as well as in its consumer business.
A source, who claims to have knowledge of the situation, said 3 000 employees are likely to be let go in the latest job-letting at the company. A Telkom spokeswoman said “potentially 3 000 employees may be affected by this process”.
That means, through this latest round of retrenchments, Telkom could reduce its staff complement by a massive 20%. At the end of September, it had about 15 000 employees on its books, according to a financial filing published on the company’s website.
The spokeswoman said the notifications to the trade unions “commences a consultation process”.
“It is our hope that through considered engagement with the unions, we will come to a mutually beneficial solution.”
The job cuts at the Openserve business are probably inevitable given that Telkom announced in July 2019 that it was moving to decommission its legacy copper network in favour of newer, and easier-to-service fibre and wireless alternatives.
It started by terminating fixed copper services for prepaid customers and is now actively moving post-paid users to the newer technologies.
In its most recent set of financial results, for the six months to 30 September 2019, Telkom reported a 40.7% slump in headline earnings per share. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation — a measure of operational profitability — fell by 4.3%. — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media