Johannesburg - The information and communications technology (ICT)
industry is shedding jobs despite a skills shortage, trade union
Solidarity said on Thursday.
"ICT companies retrench highly skilled employees for
various reasons such as employment equity, thereby creating a skills
shortage which in turn leads to outsourcing, inflated salaries and
recruitment from abroad," said spokesperson Marius Croucamp in a statement.
On Tuesday, black empowered technology group Gijima
said it would retrench an undisclosed number of workers to improve
efficiency and reduce costs.
Gijima would not say how many employees would be
affected "due to the consultative HR (human resources) processes that we
need to follow".
The company said it intended reducing staff costs by
between 8 and 12%. This would be completed by mid-August and
the business restructuring would come into full effect in July.
Croucamp said Gijima had already retrenched about 200
employees since December and planned to retrench another 200 employees
"Gijima has retrenched approximately 150 permanent employees and 50 contract workers since December," he said.
The union would meet with Gijima next week to discuss the job losses.
"A number of Gijima employees received a letter
yesterday (Wednesday), informing them that a new retrenchment process
was in the offing," Croucamp said.
Solidarity said retrenchments were taking place at
Nokia Siemens Networks while the State Information Technology Agency
(Sita) was restructuring. It was not yet known if the restructuring
would involve retrenchments.
"Sita's restructuring process affects approximately 40% of its 2 200 employees," Croucamp said.
"Meanwhile, Nokia Siemens Networks is also carrying out
large-scale retrenchments in South Africa, Nigeria and Germany.
Approximately 160 employees will be affected by the retrenchments."