Why Vodacom and MTN are not cutting jobs

Vodacom and MTN have avoided large-scale staff cuts because they continuously managed staff numbers and upskilled their staff to prepare them for a digital future.

This is the view of Sabelo Dlamini, Senior Research and Consulting Manager at the International Data Corporation (IDC).

Speaking to CNBC Africa, Dlamini said they have been expecting job cuts from Telkom because of the digital revolution.

He said the latest technologies, which Telkom is now investing in, require fewer workers to operate and maintain.

This means that Telkom had to cut staff to remain competitive.

The company, however, kept staff numbers at the same levels until now, partly because of agreements with unions.

Vodacom and MTN, in comparison, have been able to avoid large-scale retrenchments because they have been managing human resources continuously through their digitisation journey.

Upskilling of staff

Apart from the continued optimisation of their workforce, Dlamini said Vodacom and MTN have also been re-skilling their employees to prepare them for the future.

By upskilling their staff, the mobile operators’ employees are well-equipped to remain productive in the modern telecommunications environment.

Telkom, in comparison, is moving from a traditional fixed-line environment to mobile – which makes skills transition more challenging.

Dlamini added that Telkom had the opportunity to re-skills workers through its network of learning centres across the country, but did not make the most of this option.

“Telkom was not able to use these learning centres to re-skill their staff and prepare them for the digital transition which is now taking place,” he said.

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Why Vodacom and MTN are not cutting jobs