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Vodacom to cut jobs in South Africa

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Pan-African operator Vodacom is planning to cut jobs in its biggest market, South Africa, to help it reduce costs.

South Africa's largest mobile network operator said a minimum of about 80 jobs will be impacted at all levels of its operations. Currently, the telco employs 5,400 people.

"As Vodacom South Africa, we routinely ensure that our business operations are fit for purpose as we transition from a telco to a leading technology company," a Vodacom spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Connecting Africa.

"To ensure the continued efficiency of key functions and maintain our competitive edge, we anticipate that our latest operational review will impact less than 80 employees," the Vodacom spokesperson added.

The telco said it continues to proactively implement various cost reduction measures to ensure sustainable operations and maintain financial resilience.

Furthermore, it said it is committed to supporting those affected by these changes with utmost care and professionalism during the transitional period.

Vodacom making headlines

The telco's announcement to cut jobs follows its drawn-out legal battle with Nkosana Makate, who is credited with inventing a solution called Please Call Me (PCM). This allows mobile users without any airtime to send a free text message requesting that someone call them.

Previously, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ordered Vodacom to pay Makate between 5% and 7.5% of the money generated from the PCM idea, including interest. This concerned revenue generated over 18 years, from 2001 to 2019.

The operator has approached South Africa's Constitutional Court (ConCourt) and asked for leave to appeal the judgement.

In its appeal to ConCourt, the telco warned that a large compensation payout to Makate could have a negative impact on the company's day-to-day dealings.

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In its latest update, Vodacom Group revenue for the third quarter ended December 31, 2023, increased 26.8% to R38.9 billion (US$2.1 billion at the time), positively impacted by its acquisition of Vodafone Egypt.

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*Top image is of Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub. (Source: Vodacom Group.)

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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