Gov­ern­ment must block job losses

Pretoria News - - OPINION -

THE gov­ern­ment has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to keep ci­ti­zens em­ployed to en­sure that the jobs blood­bath cur­rently tak­ing place in var­i­ous sec­tors of the econ­omy does not worsen.

Last week Telkom sent out Sec­tion 189 no­tices to its em­ploy­ees af­ter it an­nounced that it was plan­ning to re­struc­ture its business.

This would see Telkom, in which the gov­ern­ment is a 40% share­holder, re­trench 3 000 work­ers.

This comes in the wake of rev­e­la­tions by Mass­mart, whose brands in­clude Makro and Game, that it would re­trench about 3% of its work­force.

This would see the com­pany cut about 1 440 jobs in South Africa.

The Telkom an­nounce­ment prompted the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Work­ers Union ( CWU) to call on the gov­ern­ment to ac­count for its role in the de­ci­sion to lay off work­ers.

The union has also de­manded that the ANC and Fi­nance Min­is­ter Tito Mboweni use their in­flu­ence to block the planned re­trench­ments.

It is clear that the cur­rent eco­nomic melt­down is go­ing to worsen, and the gov­ern­ment has its work cut out to en­sure that job cuts are min­imised.

As a coun­try, we can­not be send­ing so many peo­ple into the streets and mirac­u­lously ex­pect our econ­omy to grow.

We sup­port the call by CWU for the gov­ern­ment to in­ter­vene in the Telkom saga, and to work with the board to seek other so­lu­tions rather than job losses.

As a share­holder, the gov­ern­ment must not stand back and watch as more jobs are lost.

We hope that Mboweni and the ANC will step up to the plate and con­vince the board to search for in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to re­struc­ture Telkom, ones that do not in­volve shed­ding so many jobs.

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