Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has released a statement confirming she will be meeting with Telkom to discuss the company’s planned retrenchment of up to 3,000 employees.
“Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has noted with concern the latest reports on the planned Telkom retrenchments,” said a spokesperson.
“The Minister has therefore scheduled an urgent meeting with Telkom to be fully briefed on the matter. Further communication will be made in due course.”
The retrenchments are a result of poor performance over the past few months, which saw Telkom’s share price plummet from R99.50 on 11 June 2019 to under R30 per share on 9 January 2020.
“Telkom will continue to consult with the unions, and it is our hope that through considered engagement with the unions, we will come to a mutually beneficial solution,” the company said.
Solidarity criticised Telkom’s decision to retrench its workers, arguing that it is unfair considering the company’s executive team was paid over R100 million in the last financial year.
It specifically criticised Maseko for taking home R23 million during this period.
“That is reckless and, given the labour market retrenched workers have to face, it is merciless,” said Solidarity.
The trade union said that Telkom should rather implement a retraining programme so that workers can be taught new skills to help Telkom grow in the ever-changing technology space.
“When a company fails to train its workforce for new challenges, it should not retrench the workers; it should get rid of the top management,” said Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann.