Friday, March 24, 2023

South Africa’s MultiChoice to lay-off over 2,000 workers

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

One of Africa’s leading pay-television companies has announced plans to lay off over 2,000 workers.

MultiChoice Group based in South Africa said the lay-off is part of a shake-up of its customer care service.

In a statement MultiChoice said it is currently in the process of cutting 2,194 positions in it’s South African unit.

The shakeup will affect workers at its customer care call centres and walk-in centres.

According to MultiChoice it has seen a steady decline in the number of customer telephone calls it receives as well as e-mails.

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However there has been a significant growth in self-service digital channels, now accounting for 70% of all its customer service contacts.

Under the Labour Relations Act in South Africa the consultation process will take 60 days.

The company’s CEO, Calvo Mawela said “This has not been an easy decision to make but, in a business driven by advancing technologies, we must continue to drive efficiencies yet be agile enough to adapt to evolving customer needs.”

He adds that “We must act decisively to align to the change in customer behaviour and competition from over-the-top services.”

Reforming operations

MultiChoice competes with companies such as Netflix in online streaming, doing so via Showmax.

Mawela also noted that “If we don’t reposition now, we run the risk of being completely misaligned and we put everyone’s jobs at risk.”

“The company is also in an environment where it will rely more on technology than people,” the statement said.

MultiChoice said it will make new roles available for multi-skilled workers with the “expertise, skills and technological prowess to enhance the customer experience”.

The company will also offer voluntary severance packages, wellness support and financial planning to affected workers.

There have been similar job cuts in the mining sector as well.

South Africa is still struggling to deal with the high unemployment levels among young people which is over 27 percent currently.

Job cuts are now becoming politically sensitive in South Africa with President Cyril Ramaphosa promising to deal with it calling it a “national crisis”.




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