Naspers and Prosus to cut 30% of corporate staff

Amsterdam-listed Prosus NV and its parent Naspers are planning to cut their corporate workforce by 30%, becoming the latest global tech company to announce layoffs.

The firm, one of Europe’s largest e-commerce companies by asset value, will make cuts at its corporate centres, including hubs in Hong Kong, Amsterdam and South Africa, Chief Executive Officer Bob van Dijk said in an interview on Wednesday. The job cuts are taking place over a 12 month-period and about 15 locations will be affected, he said.

“The reality is that the macro environment has become more difficult and has changed a lot,” Van Dijk said. “This also means that the cost of capital has changed a lot, as interest rates go up and risk premiums also go up.”

Van Dijk declined to say how many people would lose their jobs. Prosus employed 30 000 people globally at the end of March last year, according to an earnings report, but these roles are spread across corporate hubs and a range of businesses the e-commerce group invests in and operates, including in classified advertising, food delivery and internet payments.

Naspers shares closed 1.7% lower in Johannesburg on Wednesday, and Prosus declined 0.2% at 5:15 p.m. in Amsterdam.

Companies from to Alphabet’s Google have recently announced staff reductions after years of growth, as they seek to lower costs and improve profitability. The tech sector announced 97 171 job cuts in 2022, up 649% compared to the previous year, according to consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. -Fin24

Discovery allocates up to R10 000 extra per family

Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS) has set aside R1.5 billion to boost healthcare screenings and preventative care among its members amid a spike in severe diagnoses like late-stage cancer.

The medical scheme launched The WELLTH Fund on Wednesday, which will allocated each family covered by the scheme up to R10 000 for screenings. The funds can be used for general healthcare needs, diet, fitness, medical monitoring devices, mental health benefits and a host of other purposes.

Discovery Health CEO, Dr Ryan Noach, said that while the scheme has set aside R1.5 billion, the total cost will depend on how many people actually use it. And DHMS members will need to activate the WELLTH Fund benefit before going for screenings to avoid being paid out from their medical savings accounts.

Noach said this was about starting a movement towards helping people understand the rising health risks in SA, which ultimately benefits medical schemes because a healthier member base means fewer claims. He said the scheme's return-on-investment analysis showed that for every R1 it invests in the WEALLTH Fund, it can expect to receive a return on investment of about R9 in the long term.

"The dividend that the society gets is a healthier society. The dividend that the scheme gets is lower healthcare costs. Cancer diagnosed in stage one is much more affordable to treat than cancer diagnosed at stage three," he said.-Fin24


Republikein 2023-03-22

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