Vodacom company Nexio retrenches, promises transparency

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Nexio CEO Mickey Mashale.
Nexio CEO Mickey Mashale.

Systems integrator Nexio, a Vodacom company, is retrenching, with the firm announcing on Friday that it has opened a Section 189A process.

With Section 189A, employers are permitted to dismiss employees for operational requirements.

CEO Mickey Mashale, who was appointed last year, held a virtual session with employees on Friday regarding the redundancies.

In a note circulated to employees last week, Mashale wrote: “Following our last communication on the announcement of the organisation’s restructuring and retrenchment Section 189A process, I would like to invite all employees to a voluntary employee dialogue platform for an open communication session with me.

“In the next upcoming nine weeks, ‘Lunch Time with Mickey’ will open to any and all of you to have direct conversation with me on our organisation’s fit for purpose business strategy. These sessions will be dedicated to addressing employee questions, or concerns related to the strategy and the overall implications.”

Nexio, previously known as StorTech (Storage Technology Services), was founded 19 years ago as part of the MB Technologies Group. In 2009, Vodacom acquired 51% of StorTech to provide systems integration solutions to Vodacom as well as enterprise organisations at large.

Mashale took over the company in July last year, with 20 years’ experience in the industry, having been interim acting CEO for Nexio, and was tasked with driving the company’s digital transformation strategy.

She was previously chief sales officer for Vodacom Business since February 2018.

Painful trend

The job cuts at Nexio come on the back of tech companies having contributed significantly to the high joblessness rate in the country in the past year.

Since the beginning of 2020, SA’s tech sector has seen a jobs bloodbath, as companies tried to stay afloat amid a weak economy, or as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, among other factors.

In January 2020, before COVID-19 was an issue in SA, telecommunications giant Telkom communicated it was retrenching as many as 3 000 employees.

This was also the same month retail giant Massmart closed down its electronics units – DionWired and Masscash – leaving 1 400 people without jobs.

The trend continued in the ICT sector in May, when systems integrator Dimension Data revealed that approximately 480 employees would leave the business through a Section 189 process.

Financially-constrained mobile operator Cell C also announced it would let go of as much as 40% of its semi-skilled labour force. Top managers were also not spared at the company, with some senior managers and executives at Cell C being pushed out.

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