Speaking to CNBC Africa, MTN’s Chief Human Resources officer, Themba Nyathi said 850 was the total number of management positions within its South African division. “We do not intend to lay off 850 managers.”
Nyathi added that the telecommunications giant did not plan to retrench anyone.
“We are looking at all facets of our business and benchmarked MTN South Africa against other operations of our size and created proposals which we are sharing with our staff members and interested stakeholders to make MTN a digital player going forward.”
He said it would be premature of the company to make any decisions as the consultative process was still ongoing.
“This is not a cost cutting exercise. We’re looking at aligning MTN as player within the digital age.”
Nyathi was responding to earlier allegations by Solidarity Union that MTN was laying off 850 of its top staff.
"We have just received a massive retrenchment notice at [DATA MTN:MTN Group]," said Marius Croucamp, a spokesman at the Solidarity Union, which largely represents skilled workers.
(READ MORE: MTN makes key leadership changes)
MTN's revenue from South Africa fell by 7 per cent to 19.2 billion rand ($1.8 billion) in the first half of this year while its margins also declined.
Additional reporting by Reuters.