Telkom has announced it’s going to shed thousands of jobs, with around 4 400 employees facing the axe by way of voluntary severance, early retirement packages and selected retrenchments. Telkom says that a further 3 4000 staff will be transferred to other companies.

“We expect to exit around 3 400 staff but, importantly, Telkom will seek to retain these skills through outsourcing to other companies or through enterprise development,” Telkom’s Jacqui O’Sullivan said. “The enterprise development option is where Telkom will seek to assist existing employees to develop their own new businesses.”

“These businesses, which will be owned and managed by former Telkom employees, would then be able to contract their services back to Telkom along with any other service providers in this growing and competitive industry,” she added.

The division in Telkom that will be the most affected will also hit consumers the hardest, which is the field technicians that come out to install and fix telephone and ADSL lines.

“Telkom Wholesale will end up with an estimated 4 000 full-time employees in the new, separated wholesale business,” it said.

It also explained that it has met with labour unions in an effort to explain the future course of action.

“[Yesterday], we engaged with organised labour in our restructuring forum. In this forum, we discussed the business case and operating model approach, as well as the potential timelines for collaboration on these important actions. Telkom would like to collaborate with organised labour through working groups, which will focus on how we can best mitigate potential workforce impacts on our people.”

Telkom did also warn however, that this might not be the last of the retrenchments, as the telecoms giant wants to overhaul the company to function in a better way.

“Initial cost savings, major management restructuring and efficiency actions have delivered important improvements. However, these next restructuring actions, which will effectively reshape Telkom’s operating model for the future, are critical to ensure the long-term commercial sustainability of our business,” it said.

[Image – CC by 2.0/Robert Kirberich]

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.