Telkom will cut about half of its workforce as the fixed-line operator seeks to reduce spending and help stabilise the business, according to a labour union. Telkom would start the process of firing more than 9 500 of its 19 000 employees within the next six months and would focus on the field services division, the SA Communications Union (Sacu) said yesterday. Chief executive Sipho Maseko said late last year that the company planned to cut a third of its employees. Telkom spokesman Pynee Chetty was not available for comment. “We are going to court,” Sacu general secretary Karriem Abrahams said. “Last year Telkom made an R11 billion loss, this year there is a R3.9bn profit. Last year there wasn’t [a] need to retrench.” Telkom plans to reduce its costs by R5bn through job cuts after it halted years of sliding sales partly caused by falling fixed-line usage. Maseko said earlier this month that he predicted stable revenue through 2017. Telkom’s share price gained 0.41 percent to close at R48.62 yesterday. – Bloomberg