MTN South Africa to cut jobs

South Africa’s MTN Group is likely to slash 14% of its workforce in the country, according to the Solidarity union.

As the operator attempts to battle declining market share and revenue, a union official told reporters that MTN has informed its employees of plans to lay off approximately 850 managerial staff.

“We have just received a massive retrenchment notice at MTN,” said Marius Croucamp, an official at the Solidarity union, which represents skilled workers in the country.

MTN South Africa employs 6,196 people in the country and has been battling fierce competition from South African rival and market leader, Vodacom.

“MTN SA will continue to review its cost structures, including employee costs, to ensure better alignment with revenue performance,” Themba Nyathi, chief human resource officer at MTN South Africa, said in a statement. “MTN SA has begun a process of internal staff consultations on a proposed organisational restructuring.”

Croucamp said that the process could be concluded by the end of October.

Arthur Goldstuck, head of industry research firm World Wide Worx, said that the cuts are a symbol of MTN South Africa’s struggle to maintain market share in the country.

“It is a reflection of the pressure on its margins, as mobile termination rates come down dramatically and also as it is forced to compete on price on both data and voice,” Goldstuck said.

South African mobile operator Cell C has also been feeling the pressure, and earlier this month agreed to €160 million worth of debt restructuring.

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