Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Cell C may lay off 40% of its staff

Article Image
Cell C, the financially strained South African mobile operator, says it is looking into laying off almost a thousand junior staff as part of its ongoing restructuring strategy.

"Cell C can confirm that it 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 organization with its new operating model," the group said in response to Connecting Africa's questions on the matter.

Cell C has a total workforce of approximately 2,500 employees. The telco said it anticipated that 960 positions may be affected, which is just under 40% of its staff.

Earlier this year, 30 senior management positions were also made redundant and the process was completed in May, Cell C said.

"For many years Cell C has underperformed and generated significant losses. 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, a review and discontinuation of certain product offerings all in an effort to turn the business around," the group said.

Cell C reported a net loss after tax of R3.94 billion (US$223 million) for the year to December 31, 2019, compared to a net loss of R7.3 billion ($414 million) in 2018. The group also lost around 3 million mobile customers during the year.

But the job losses are not a done deal yet: Cell C said it is currently in the consultation process and is advising staff "of the possibility of redundancy of certain positions and possible retrenchments".

"No final decision has been made and the consultation process with affected employees is meant to obtain input for consideration before a final decision is made."

Cell C is also looking at a number of "outplacement opportunities" in the learning and development space and "will introduce a reskilling initiative for its own as well as some affected employees."

Cell C has also been an acquisition target for some time and earlier this year CFO, Zaf Mahomed confirmed that the operator had received multiple offers to sell the business. It also publicly declined a takeover offer from fellow SA operator Telkom in November 2019.

Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Hot startup of the month: Kenya's Swifttdial

Kenyan company Swifttdial is helping companies in Kenya and Nigeria set up cloud-based virtual call centers, with plans to expand further into West Africa.


Hot startup of the month: Egyptian telemedicine platform Vezeeta

Vezeeta, an Egyptian telemedicine platform, had a big 2020, raising US$40 million in Series D funding and expanding its healthtech services into Kenya and Nigeria.

More Innovation hub

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Latest video

More videos

Upcoming events

East Africa Com
May 11-12, 2021
Virtual Event
Africa Tech Festival
November 8-12, 2021
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Sponsored video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives


AfricaCom Interview: Onica Makwakwa on closing the digital gender gap

The Alliance for Affordable Internet's head of Africa, Onica Makwakwa, shares her views on how to narrow the digital gender gap and the challenges keeping women offline on the continent.


AfricaCom Interview: Tunde Fafunwa on how the ACIP is fighting COVID-19

Tunde Fafunwa from the UN Economic Commission for Africa explains how the Africa Communication and Information Platform (ACIP) is helping Africa's battle against COVID-19.


AfricaCom Interview: Temidayo Oniosun on Africa's space and satellite industry

Space in Africa founder, Temidayo Oniosun, shares his views on the challenges and opportunities in the African space and satellite industry.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Partner perspectives

How mobile operators in Africa can address signalling threats and secure the network
By Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud and Security at BICS

SD-WAN and satellite how MNOs and telcos can enjoy the best of both worlds
By Ofer Asif, SVP BizDev, marketing and strategy at Spacecom

Africa's mobile operators need better roaming monetization for growth
By Damion Rose, product manager for Mobile Signaling and Roaming Solutions at BICS

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up