This week has been a chastening one for many South Africans, especially as president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as a national disaster at the weekend.

It has led many organisations to rethink the way it handles things while still ensuring services are operational. Telkom is no different and, earlier this week, the firm detailed the steps that it is taking.

As the company explains, there is a two-pronged focus for the coming weeks, with a need to ensure staff are adequately protected, as well as making sure connectivity in the country is stable and reliable.

To that end, the firm is taking the following steps with immediate effect:

  • Limit non-essential travel, physical contact, and gatherings
  • Screening at Telkom premises
  • Testing for Telkom employees
  • Early salary payments to enable preparedness for possible lockdown
  • Telkom has Zero-rating of educational URLs to support learning and teaching
  • Zero-rating of the NCID and SA Government websites to drive accurate information for infection control.

“As we implement ways to ensure social distancing in our environments, Telkom’s frontline operations remain stable. Call centres, data centres, fibre installations are being supported to protect the resilience of our network, provide connectivity to our customers and South Africa,” the firm added in a press release sent to us.

As such Telkom says that it will continue to deliver the same level of connectivity to homes, businesses and public institutions, prior to the national disaster announcement.

“Our significant investment in modernising the network including fibre backhaul gives us comfort in the resilience of our network to support the increases in broadband that we anticipate during this time,” notes Sipho Maseko, Group CEO of Telkom.

“We have good quality monitoring tools that enable efficient network monitoring and management and can, therefore, continue to deliver quality service as the traffic increases,” the firm adds.

The same goes for its supply chains, which are said to operating solidly, with no expectation of interruptions of service. Added to this is an improvement to the company’s mobile footprint capacity, with new sites and increased radio capacity on existing sites that require it.

It therefore looks as if Telkom is taking the necessary steps needed given the advisement of the presidency, but has also stressed that it has the capacity and resources in place to keep things operating as normal for customers.