Job cuts looming at Cell C - TechCentral

Job cuts looming at Cell C

Alan Knott-Craig

Cellular operator Cell C may retrench as much as 12% of its workforce as it seeks to eliminate “overstaffing”, TechCentral has established.

The company informed its employees this week that a “process of consultation” with them was being started to “streamline the business”.

It’s understood that Cell C’s networking division will be particularly hard hit by the lay-offs but that the exercise will cut across the entire company.

As many as 150 permanent employees and fixed-term contractors will be affected by the move.

Cell C spokesman Karin Fourie confirms that the company has “embarked on a process of consultation in respect of possible retrenchments”.

“At this time, and subject to consultation with the affected employees themselves, approximately 150 employees could be retrenched,” Fourie says.

“The objective of the restructuring process is to streamline the business, to bring the business closer to our customer base and to make it more competitive,” she says. “We are focusing on the areas of the business that we believe are overstaffed.”

Cell C has 1 288 permanent and fixed-term employees, so if it were to retrench 150 staff, that would represent just less than 12% of its workforce.

The looming job cuts come as the operator, SA’s third largest in the mobile sector with a 13% share of the market, gears up — under newly appointed CEO Alan Knott-Craig — to compete more aggressively with its bigger rivals, MTN and Vodacom.

In recent weeks, Cell C has slashed broadband prices and introduced cheaper prepaid tariffs. Knott-Craig hinted recently that contract call rates will soon be cut, too.

Last week, the company announced it had secured an equity injection from its parent company, Dubai-based Oger Telecom, to the tune of US$180m, or about R1,5bn. Knott-Craig said at the time that the investment demonstrated “the confidence our shareholders have in both SA and Cell C”.  — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media

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