June 22, 2020 / 5:20 PM / 11 days ago

South Africa's Cell C plans to lay off 960 workers as it streamlines operations

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s third-biggest telecom operator, Cell C, said on Monday it plans to lay off 960 workers as it restructures its operations to align the organisation with its new operating model.

Unlisted Cell C, in which Blue Label Telecoms has a 45% stake, said it has initiated discussions with junior management and semi-skilled staff on the possible redundancy of certain positions and job cuts.

The company has a workforce of 2,500.

For many years Cell C has under-performed and generated significant losses, which led to management initiating a turnaround strategy in early 2019 that focuses on cost savings through procurement cuts, a year-long hiring freeze, a review and discontinuation of certain product offerings.

Along with these cost-cutting initiatives, together with its revised network strategy, Cell C is reviewing its operating model and organisational structure.

“It is the company’s view that over time the operating model has resulted in a number of inefficiencies. This is contributing to the operating and financial challenges the company currently faces,” it said.

Earlier this year, senior management positions were aligned to this revised operating model and new organisational structure, Cell C said. The process was completed in May and resulted in 30 positions being affected.

Cell C said that while the company has started a process to cut jobs, it is also looking at a number of ways to re-skill its own workers and some of the affected employees.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla, Editing by Timothy Heritage

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