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MultiChoice looks to lay off more than 2k workers

In shake-up of its customer care service.

Naspers’ pay-television business MultiChoice Group is planning to lay off more than 2 000 workers in South Africa in a shake-up of its customer care service, the company said on Friday.

MultiChoice, which competes with Netflix in online streaming via Showmax, said in a statement it is launching a consultation process to cut 2 194 positions in MultiChoice South Africa’s customer care call centres and walk-in centres.

“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,” MultiChoice Group chief executive Calvo Mawela said.

“We must act decisively to align to the change in customer behaviour and competition from over-the-top services,” he added, referring to video services that stream directly over the internet.

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

Under the Labour Relations Act, the consultation process will take 60 days.

Over the past three years, MultiChoice has seen a steady decline in the number of customer telephone calls and e-mails into its call centres and walk-ins to its customer service centres, the company said.

In contrast, self-service digital channels have continued to grow, now accounting for 70% of all its customer service contacts.

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

Job cuts are politically sensitive in South Africa, where the unemployment rate is more than 27%.

In his state of the nation address on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa called the unemployment rate among the youth a “national crisis” that demands urgent, innovative and coordinated solutions.

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

As part of a support programme agreed with unions and other employee representatives, the firm will offer voluntary severance packages, wellness support and financial planning, it said.

It will also continue paying for the current studies of MultiChoice bursary-funded employees, and some other benefits.

However the Information Communication and Technology Union (ICTU) said in a statement it had not been officially informed of the action, “which makes the process unlawful”.

“The employer has timed Friday to make announcement, which shows some cowardice tendencies of not dealing with the consequences of their actions,” it said, adding that it will seek an urgent engagement with MultiChoice.

Shares in the company closed nearly 2% stronger at R134 prior to the announcement. 

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The 4th IR in action. Its not the unemployed that are an issue, its the unemployable!

Steve Hofmeyr’s boycott was clearly effective….

I don’t neccessarily support Steve Hofmeyr’s comments and opinions but I support his right to express them.

I find it offensive and extremely concerning that large institutions in South Africa who should support independence of thought and free speech are blowing with the government of the day and blocking him instead of having a backbone and doing what is right for South Africa.

We all know where countries go when the public have their freedom of speech and other freedoms suppressed and the politicians of the day are allowed to publicly spread falsehoods and propaganda, including inciting violence against specific groups.

I find it disgusting of the likes of Naspers and North West University to be dancing to the tunes of what in coming years will become the dictators and oppressors of South Africa.

Agreed. I don’t like Steve Hofmeyer, but he has rights, like it or not. I am cancelling my DSTV subscription because of Multichoice’s new “tendency” to mix in politics. Shame on Multichoice. Perhaps they should start a political party and collect member fees instead if they want to meddle in politics. Anyone thinking Multichoice has a future is taking a big risk, – why un-bundle and list separately if there is upside left? All those years of monopoly have finally come to an end.

“MultiChoice South Africa’s customer care”? What’s that?

So much joy at people losing their jobs in the comment section. It’s a bit strange.

It’s all about solidarity.

Can’t very well go around hoping other people are being excluded from being unemployed. This is, after all, an inclusive society.

I have got to agree with you.A serious matter and many will battle to find jobs .Wonder if these folks are just here on the comments section to pass cynical comments ,instead of adding value.Maybe Moneyweb should not post their comments

maybe productive people r gatvol of
paying for overpriced intertainment due in
part to overstaffed slapgat AA employees ??

People aren’t losing their jobs – MultiChoice is merely being “decolonised”.

Until such time as Multichoice re-works it’s premier offering to be 1) more affordable and 2) provide actual quality viewing instead of it’s current endless slew of repeats, this exercise will be repeated. It’s always the workers that suffer at the end of the day.


I bet if they had a separate bouquet dedicated to sports channels; they will lose a lot of premium clients. Not long now before this happens; ‘cos Netflix will grow when more data spectrum is made available.

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