‘Telkom will cease to exist if job cuts continue’ warns union

A new strategy was needed for Telkom as the communications company had proven that it cannot expand as a business, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has warned.

This comes after Telkom announced it would begin a formal retrenchment process that will see it lay off as much as 15% of its workforce as it casts a sharp focus on cost saving initiatives.

Job losses

Telkom said all business units and subsidiaries would be affected.

“As the group manages the delicate migration of revenue between old to new technologies, it is challenged with managing the costs associated with the different technologies, the competitiveness and sustainability of the group,” Telkom said in a note to shareholders, according to a report by Moneyweb

The union is alarmed at the scale of job losses, the CWU’s General Secretary Aubrey Tshabalala said.

“These retrenchments will affect jobs in Telkom SOC, Openserve and Gyro but also have effects in a number of companies including PERX Consulting (who runs the Telkom Direct stores) and SMOLLAN that are commercial partners.”

“Today, when their commercial agreement terminates, they retrench workers. The union condemns and rejects a decision by the Company to slash jobs that will affect over 2 000 workers in a few months time,” Tshabalala said.

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Telkom won’t exist

Telkom would cease to exist if it continued to retrench workers as it has since 2014, Tshabalala warned government.

“Telkom has been in the jobs reduction project in segments of every 2 years in this following sequence; 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 and now 2023 and the rationale behind these jobs bloodbaths is the same with a few senseless additions such as the release of spectrum, load shedding and Covid 19 lockdown.”

“The champion and architecture of this process is the former CEO Sipho Maseko, who in our view was a BAIN Consultant project. This led to the institution shrinking from being one of the giant telecoms in Africa to just an entity in South Africa,” Tshabalala added.


CWU intends to challenge Telkom’s retrenchment process and will also meet its members decide on the action going forward, Tshabalala said.

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