Telkom to Leave Pretoria Offices to Reduce Phone Company Costs

Telkom SA SOC Ltd., Africa’s largest land-line phone operator, will leave its headquarters in Pretoria as part of a plan to reduce costs.

The company will relocate to offices in Centurion, a suburb south of South Africa’s capital, during the first half of 2015, Telkom said in an e-mailed statement today. The vacated premises, which are owned by the Telkom Pension Fund, will be renovated and leased to a new tenant.

“It no longer makes financial sense for the company to maintain two separate campuses in Pretoria and Centurion, and it cannot move the national network operations center in Centurion,” Telkom said. “The office reorganization is part of our strategy to turn Telkom into an organization which is sustainable for the long haul.”

Telkom is battling to reduce costs to offset a decline in landline usage and increased operating expenses. The partly state-owned company plans to eliminate positions from its 19,000-strong workforce and is working with labor unions on the job cuts, which would come in several stages. The company plans to shutter unprofitable stores to accelerate cost savings.

The shares gained 2.7 percent to 55.99 rand as of 2:29 p.m. in Johannesburg. The stock has almost doubled this year, making it the best performer on the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index.

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