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Telkom to cut management jobs this month in turnaround plan

Telkom spokesman Pynee Chetty declined to give the number of jobs being cut.

FILE: The company announced plans to cut jobs in July from a management layer. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's Telkom SA will cut an unspecified number of management staff by the end of this month, the fixed line operator said on Tuesday, pushing ahead with a restructuring plan that has been opposed by organised labour.

"The intention of the Telkom turnaround strategy is to secure the future commercial sustainability of the business," the company said in a statement.

Telkom spokesman Pynee Chetty declined to give the number of jobs being cut when contacted by Reuters.

The company announced plans to cut jobs in July from a management layer that employs 2,650 people, as part of a drive to bring down costs by R1 billion annually for the next five years.

Labour organisations such as the Solidarity union and the South African Communications Union (SACU) opposed the layoffs.

Solidarity union threatened to take legal action against Telkom on Monday, demanding the company retract redundancy notices sent to its members.

Telkom said it had engaged with unions as required in "Section 189" -- a legal requirement that means it has to consult with unions, the government and other stakeholders for up to 90 days about the retrenchments.

"Telkom will therefore not be withdrawing the Notices of Termination that have been legitimately issued in line with the agreed upon process," the company said.

Job cuts are a thorny issue in South Africa where about 25 percent of the population is unemployed.

SACU was not available for comment.