Uncertainty as Multichoice plans to lay off 1,790 workers

A Multichoice office used to illustrate the story
A Multichoice office used to illustrate the story

At least 1,790 MultiChoice employees are in danger of losing their jobs as the pay-TV operator plans to restructure the company’s customer service model.

The company reportedly has a subscriber base of more than 15 million.

In a statement Friday, the company said it would cut jobs at its call and walk-in centres, adding that it has begun ‘a consultation process’.

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.

MultiChoice Group 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 to ensure that we remain relevant, competitive and sustainable.”

The company added that it would create new job opportunities for multiskilled staff who have expertise, skills and technological abilities to enhance the customer experience.

It said it would offer voluntary severance packages and other benefits for affected staff as part of a comprehensive support programme, in agreement with unions and employee representatives.

Earlier on Friday, Reuters reported that a South African trade union said Multichoice Group had notified workers of its intention to lay off 1,790 workers.

The employees were notified on Friday afternoon, but the union has not been officially informed, a statement by the Information Communication and Technology Union (ICTU) said.

It remains unclear Friday evening if the decision would affect Nigerian employees of the company.

MultiChoice Nigeria was launched in 1993 as a pioneering joint venture between MultiChoice Africa and Nigerian businessman and senior advocate of Nigeria, Adewunmi Ogunsanya.

According to details on its website, the company started operating with only 30 employees and since then, has grown to a team of more than 1000 people while indirectly supporting thousands of more jobs.

In servicing customers and serving their needs for great local content, Multichoice said its business’s economic impact “runs to hundreds of billions of naira.

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