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Cell C to Cut Over 900 Jobs, Almost 40% of its Workforce

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

South African network provider, Cell C has confirmed that it could retrench up to 960 employees – including junior management and semi-skilled staff – resulting in cuts of almost 40% of its workforce.

“Cell C can confirm that it is has reached a difficult decision and initiated discussions with junior management and semi-skilled staff to implement a restructuring of its operations so as to align the organisation with its new operating model,” says a Cell C spokesperson.

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

Cell C began reevaluating its workforce in March 2020 and was said to be looking “specifically at a senior manager and executive-level”, the company also “advised employees of the possibility of redundancy of certain positions and contemplated retrenchment”.

“A turnaround strategy was put in place in early 2019. One of the pillars of the strategy is a focus on operational efficiencies. Efforts to streamline the business have included cost savings through procurement cuts, a year-long hiring freeze, and a review and discontinuation of certain product offerings, all in an effort to turn the business around,” continues the spokesperson.

Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson, who has been instrumental in the company’s turnaround strategy, says “You can’t forget where Cell C was. As a business, it was hopelessly inefficient. At one stage we had probably around 2,900 staff. You compare that to Vodacom and MTN, and it does not make any sense.”

Craigie Stevenson says that as part of Cell C’s recapitalisation, staff will undergo an up-skilling and cross-skilling process.

Edited by Jenna Delport
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