Monday, October 19, 2020

Heads roll in DTCB unkindest cut

At least 65 Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) workers lost their jobs in August following a restructuring exercise dubbed strategy 2020.

The Telegraph has seen letters from affected employees being advised that the company would pay them their terminal benefits in due course. Some employees’ last day at work was 12 August while others reported for duty for the last time on 31 August. 

Majority of employees who lost their jobs are from the support service department which include, Information Technology (IT), procurement and security personnel.

“We are talking about 65 people who lost their jobs at DTCB as a result of the implementation of the 2020 strategy. Some posts became redundant while others were surplus,” insiders said this week. 

 Some employees who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal alleged that the company has re-hired some former employees on temporary basis.

“We are talking about people who are in their 50s and 60s and had retired some time ago. We believe that the company is of the view that it is cheaper to use these people,” they said.  

The Telegraph has learnt that the company and managers who approached the court after they were issued with letters terminating their contracts in March this year have reached an out of court settlement. 

What is puzzling the affected employees is that the company has moved swiftly to replace the Head of Human Resources, Head of Finance and Head of Operations positions which fell vacant when it sacked the managers who manned the posts.

DTCB spokesperson Kago Mmopi confirmed that they have parted ways with some of their employees but would not be drawn into discussing details. 

“It is not our policy to share specific information as regards the number of people affected,” he said.

He said Diamond Trading Company Botswana has developed a strategy for the period of January 2016 to December 2020 with the aim to transform the organisation into a processing organisation underpinned by a delivery excellence culture.

“During the course of 2015, the business concluded an analysis which yielded the need for change in the structure in order to achieve operational excellence. This new focus also necessitated a change in the skills/competencies aligned to a processing organisation,” he said.  

Mmopi said the company made a decision to restructure the organisation with a view to filling the new structure with candidates who possess the requisite skills/competencies. 

“During this process, the company did indeed separate with some employees in the form of retrenchments. The process followed involved elaborate consultations with all key stakeholders recognising the operational need for DTCB to transform into a processing organisation,” said Mmopi.

 Early this year DTCB Union Secretary General Elvis Radimo told The Telegraph’s sister publication Sunday Standard that they are currently in talks with DTCB management over the restructuring exercise that is likely to lead to massive job losses. He said a considerable number of employees from the support service department will lose their jobs.

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