MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Africa’s biggest pay-TV operator MultiChoice, on Friday, concluded the first meeting with stakeholders in an ongoing retrenchment process that could result in up to 2,194 employees losing their jobs as the company plans a restructuring of its customer service operations.

The company says it was encouraged by the full attendance of all the role-players. This included labour union representatives from the Communication Workers Union (CWU), the Media Workers Association of SA (MWASA), and the Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU), as well MultiChoice’s own Work Place Forum (WPF). 

The company, which has a subscriber base of more than 15-million on the continent, said on Friday last week that it would cut jobs at its call and walk-in centres. It said the changes in the customer service model were in response to evolving customer behaviour as subscribers opt for digital platforms instead of telephone or walk-in services. 

“We respect the spirit that prevailed in the meeting which was one of open conversations and candour. As a responsible employer, we are empathetic to the plight of the employees that are being consulted as part of the proposed restructuring process,” said MultiChoice group executive for corporate affairs Joe Heshu.

“We are encouraged that the relevant labour unions share the same views around ensuring the wellbeing of our employees as we consult on a very difficult process.” 

MultiChoice is reported to have about 7,000 employees and has previously indicated it would create new job opportunities for multi-skilled staff who have expertise, skills and technological abilities to enhance the customer experience.

Voluntary severance packages and other benefits for affected staff will be offered as part of a comprehensive support programme, in agreement with unions and employee representatives, the company said.

MultiChoice says it will respond to the initial feedback received during Friday’s meeting, agreeing to respond on Monday July 1 . 

gavazam@businesslive.co.za