The operator, which is still 39% government-owned, is undergoing restructuring in order to counter a decrease in its fixed-line business. According to Solidarity trade union, Telkom received 1629 applications for voluntary severance packages (VSPs) and voluntary early retirement packages (VERPs) between 18 and 31 March, of which 73% were approved.
In a staff communication last month, Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko said, “Once again, the VSP and VERP offer is subject to management discretion. We will not allow the loss of critical skills.”
However, Marius Croucamp, Deputy General Secretary of the Communication Industry at Solidarity, warns that this latest round of retrenchments will result in the loss of highly skilled employees and lead to the deterioration of Telkom’s service delivery levels.
Over the past decade the telecommunications company has seen its workforce decline by nearly 10 000 employees.