JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African telecoms company Telkom SA (TKGJ.J) told unions on Wednesday it could cut up to 3,000 of more than 15,000 staff as it struggles with declining performance in fixed voice and fixed data services.

FILE PHOTO: A shopper walks past a Telkom shop at a mall in Johannesburg February 26, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Like other African telecoms firms, Telkom, in which the government holds a stake of about 40%, is trying to keep pace with a surge in demand for the internet and data with growing smart phone usage.

It is also grappling with organizational and operational inefficiencies linked to fixed voice and data services, which require more staff to install, maintain and market, it said in a letter to unions seen

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