Too early to speculate on job cuts: Telkom - TechCentral

Too early to speculate on job cuts: Telkom


Telkom has sought to play down a report published on Monday that suggested it plans to slash its workforce by more than 40% in the coming months.

Bloomberg reported that Telkom wants to cut its workforce to 8 000 by July.

The news wire cited details of a plan, called Project High Ground, under which Telkom has reportedly identified 6 250 positions that it wants to “eliminate” from its workforce — that’s 45% of the total complement of 13 895 employees.

Bloomberg said it is in possession of an internal document that shows that planned reductions will come from outsourcing 3 750 positions to other companies, including moving 2 000 employees to Business Connexion, the IT group that it acquired last year, as well as cutting 500 jobs, mainly in finance and human resources.

But Telkom spokeswoman Jacqui O’Sullivan said the document in Bloomberg’s possession is the first version of an internal strategy document shared with CEO Sipho Maseko and chief financial officer Deon Fredericks on 1 February.

“The document has changed quite a bit since then,” O’Sullivan said.

“The numbers quoted in the Bloomberg piece made an assumption that the potential outsourcing of the networks division will go ahead,” she added.

It is premature to speculate on the possible outcome when analysis is still underway

“Towards the end of last year, Telkom issued a number of requests for proposals (RFPs) to allow the company to consider options regarding the potential outsourcing of sections of the networks team, including potentially the large base of technicians,” O’Sullivan said.

“Responses to those RFPs are currently being considered. No decision has been made and it is therefore premature to speculate on the possible outcome when analysis is still underway.”

However, she said Telkom’s operating model is too cumbersome and is weighed down by inefficient processes and systems that are not helpful to its customers.

“By creating more autonomous business units, we establish a clear sense of focus in each business, where commercial sustainability is the driving force, with clearer decision-making responsibilities that foster delivery.

“Part of creating that operating model requires us to streamline the corporate centre and to push more resources into the business units. This process will create some excess staff in our corporate centre, which necessitated the initiation of a section 189 process with organised labour. We estimate that 300 jobs will be lost through this current S189 process.”  — (c) 2016 NewsCentral Media


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