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Mass retrenchments at the SABC

The SABC set out restructuring plans in which it said as many as 981 of its approximately 3 400 permanent employees may be let go.

The SABC is set to retrench almost a third of its workforce. The public broadcaster set out restructuring plans on Monday evening in which it said as many as 981 of its approximately 3 400 permanent employees may be let go.

At the same time, it will terminate the services of half of its 2 400 freelancers.

It wants the consultation process concluded by January 31 2019, with retrenchments to take effect on February 1 2019, and has proposed paying severance pay of one week’s salary per completed year of service in accordance with labour legislation.

In a letter to staff seen by TechCentral, group CEO Madoda Mxakwe, said all employees at all levels in the SABC will likely be affected by the retrenchments. These include group services, provincial operations, commercial enterprises, media technology and infrastructure, news, radio, sport, and television.

“At this stage, and should retrenchments be necessary, it is envisaged that 981 employees may possibly be retrenched as a result of the restructuring, across all the aforesaid business units and operations of the SABC,” Mxakwe said.

He said the SABC’s “dire” financial situation means the broadcaster is not sustainable without “drastic measures” being taken. He added that “irregular and unlawful” operational decisions made by former senior executives have compounded the situation and “need to be remedied”. Though Mxakwe didn’t name him, this is a clear reference to decisions taken by the fired former chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

“…Under the auspices of the erstwhile management of the SABC, there have been many instances of unlawful and irregular promotions and increases afforded to employees, resulting in an inflated remuneration cost and the payment of salaries to employees that are not commensurate to the actual positions occupied by employees. The SABC is also overstaffed, considering its actual operational needs,” he said.

‘Drastically reduce costs’

“…It is needed to drastically reduce operating costs in the SABC, and with it the (elimination) of a number of positions… It is also needed to re-evaluate the entire organisational structure in the SABC, so as to determine the proper remuneration and duties and responsibilities associated with all remaining positions.”

The SABC will consult fully with employees and labour unions before reaching any final decisions, Mxakwe said. “The SABC … has a preliminary view, and any final decision will only be made after due and proper process has been exhausted.”

The broadcaster will try to ensure it retains the best skills through the process. It has proposed a method of selection based on an objective assessment of the skills, experience, expertise and qualifications of employees.

Under the proposed restructuring and retrenchment plan, the SABC will save about R440 million, Mxakwe said.  

This article was published with the permission of TechCentral, the original publication can be viewed here. 

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I hear the howl of the unions who know so much about making a business profitable.

Double whammy, unemployment just shot up to 27.5% and the expanded definition hit 37.3%

That means around 8.4mil people who are able to work do not have any income…

So much for the investment summit…

Should taxpayers money or debt be used to keep people employed at the SABC? No brainer really.

The investment summit was a good idea but it’s not an overnight job here and any leadership should be looking at the long term. Fixing SA is likely to take a decade before the structural change that is needed comes about.

Cutting down SOEs into the staff they need is unfortunately one of the first steps to take along with fighting corruption, freeing up funds in the public purse is critical to reinvest those into critical services like education, health care, housing and policing. Uplifting the poorest and incorporating into the economy is not only the right thing to do but also the fastest route to sustained quality growth.

Just hope the excellent radio and TV business news programms don’t suffer. Always sad when well – skilled people have to go.

@Lemon nothing to be spur about.

The amount of resources which Goverment throws at running SOE is so massive that even if it was cut by 50% there would be spare 50% capacity to double the quality of services.

SOE are squeezing out the SMEs.

The howl from the ANC will be even louder and effective.
The whole process will be scuppered before it gets off the ground.

It’s a matter of change or die. And it applies to all spheres of state organs, government, local authorities and SOE’s. If S.A. cannot re-engineer itself out of it’s self-destructive over-bloated, corrupt, inefficient, snail-pace public institutions, we are for sure heading for a second Zimbabwe.

It should have been SAA! Now the whole of SA is affected because the radio audience is huge and often made up of poorer people without DSTV.

SAA has a much smaller customer base. It’s still a bottomless pit getting bail outs. These retrenchments should be happening at SAA long before SABC.
They should cross-subsidise so deserving SOEs go FIRST!

So basically people are going to lose their jobs not because “business is bad” but because of mismanagement. Pure, absolute and straightforward mismanagement. Must be nice to be able to do this to other people.

Well maybe if it is done properly then the rest of the staff at the SABC can stay employed. Do nothing and you guarantee that all will be unemployed or will not get paid sometime in the future.

Staff on News work hard and put together excellent quality news – it’s very sad. No issue with non-deserving staff on the gravy-train going.

Sorry but all my meetings with people who care, turned out to be people who don’t care. I just paid my T V License so they don’t sick their Dog lawyers on me.

Notify a change of address….to say “Diepsloot”

Then next year hold off paying….the phone calls will end

OK so – basic math.

They want to save R 440 million (assume per annum) by letting go of 981 employees. That will equate to some R 44 852 192 per employee per annum???

WTF !!!

I doubt majority (emphasis on majority) of SABC employees earn R37k a month.

Nope! That works out to R448521.90 per person. And that doesn’t take into account the freelancers that they are letting go.

R37376 per employee per month. You can employ 3 miners with that money at R12459 per month each? Or 4 teachers at R9344 per month each. Or 6 nurses at R6230 per month each. That R440m could give jobs to nearly 600 trainee nurses.

This is the golden opportunity for Discovery, PSG, Firstrand, Capitec, Zeder, Remgro, Reinet, Richemont etc to form a joint-venture and make an offer for RSG. RSG has excellent content and very capable presenters. They deserve much better that what they are getting from the hooligan SABC management. See it as a matter of “national interest” for the law-abiding and taxpaying part of society.

Come on guys, you advertise on RSG every day. Go one step further and ensure the survival of this service. RSG can be the voice of the business and faith communities. They represent the South African demographics. Do your customers a favour and ensure the viability of this excellent service. Use Moneyweb as a “special purpose vehicle” to house the newly privatized RSG. This gives you all the opportunity to secure continuous access to your client base.

So other radio station at the SABC don’t have respectable content. I forgot you have never listed to them coz you don’t understand the language.

Good suggestion Sensei.

RSG, which as an English speaker I listen to now only sporadically, has always imho been excellent with quality non-political content. Back in the day, on the 45 minute long drive to work, it was a welcome and informative alternative to music stations.

This is the reason that there is no traditional Afrikaans language private radio station around (at least that I know of). Many years ago there was one (VERY GOOD TOO) that lasted about 18 months. As I recall Riaan van Heerden was involved. It was always going to be difficult for a newcomer to compete with a quality Afrikaans radio station.

Contrast this to English radio. English language private radio flourished as a result of the rapid and astronomical collapse of “engleesh” at the SABC. It was no longer listenable providing private radio with an instant market AND no competition.

Very sad how SABC English radio collapsed.

SABC TV simply junk. Fullstop.

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