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SABC suspends retrenchments for 7 days

Follows strenuous objections by SABC employees, including newsroom staff, to the long-expected layoffs.
Image: Moneyweb

The SABC board said on Friday that a plan to retrench 400 employees as part of a restructuring to get the public broadcaster on a sustainable financial footing has been suspended for seven days.

This follows strenuous objections by SABC employees, including newsroom staff, to the long-expected layoffs.

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“The board of the SABC would like to announce that it will suspend the section 189 process for a period of seven days,” the broadcaster said. “This will allow all stakeholders to further engage and explore further options in an effort to ensure the financial sustainability of the SABC.”

The retrenchment plan has drawn criticism from some political quarters. It has also caused ructions on the SABC board, with deputy chair Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi — a controversial former director-general in the department of communications — criticising the move, despite it enjoying majority board support.

The plan to let go of 400 employees comes after the SABC had previously said it would have to retrench as many as 600. The SABC agreed to cut costs, including retrenchments, when it recently received a R3.2-billion bailout from national treasury.

‘Exhausted all other options’

“The SABC is fully cognisant of the fact that this process will affect people’s livelihoods and, moreover, have a knock-on effect on their families and communities. However, having exhausted all other options, we are now faced with the difficult task of having to restructure the organisation to ensure its sustainability,” the public broadcaster said in a statement on 11 November.

Labour unions have threatened to strike over the planned retrenchments. But the SABC said it conducted many consultative sessions with employees and unions over a period of four months, “significantly exceeding” the statutory minimum requirement of four meetings over two months.

In addition to the 400 retrenchments, the SABC identified 97 positions that would form part of an outsourcing initiative.

All affected employees would be offered a severance package of one week for each completed year of service, the broadcaster said.  — © 2020 NewsCentral Media

This article was published with the permission of Tech Central. The original publication can be viewed here

COMMENTS   14

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Well this is what you get with cadre deployment. Anything is acceptable to be a board member as long as it ……. well you know what I mean.

Its just an ANC induced vicious circle. They wont ever admit to what the problem is as it affects them too.

TSK!!!!!!!!!

*35 days annual leave from the moment you sign on…. (with the option to sell for cash at any time)
*30 days sick leave PER YEAR….
And then just to make things interesting, throw in Holier-Than-God Hlaudi Motsoaneng, who in all honestly I wouldn’t let manage a branch of Blockbusters Video. And there’s still disbelief that SABC has got to this point?! And they want DSTV to collect TV license fees on their behalf, so that they have even less work to do. You couldn’t write this stuff

I’ve worked in finance at SMEs my whole career. I was elated when I finally received 20 days at the age of 35.

The SABC has to reduce staff costs, either they retrench or staff earning over a certain amount accept a salary cut and all staff as a whole agree to no salary increases for the next few years. One thing is obvious overburdened taxpayers can’t be expected to step in and save the SABC with another bailout. If no reforms are implemented then the cycle will only continue to worsen and all South Africans will suffer.

True Mark, something needs to give if no retrenchments then unions and employees need to agree on salary cut or freeze for certain period. One party can’t give conditions and no solutions!

The legacy of the ANC. Just pay salaries as you like, just as Loony Cloudy doubled his when he got the job. Eskom the same story, just employ anyone at a fat salary. Oh forgot none of them know what they are actually doing there either, but they know the way to the tea room and the car pool.

And apparently the average pay at SABC is about R70000 per month and there we were all complaining about ESKOM where the average pay is a mere R45000 per month.

how difficult to resolve? Sell off the SABC to the highest bidder (likely an eager media company), on condition that staff are retained for an agreed period,the archives are preserved, and two/three public channels are free to air in perpetuity.Govt will earn a windfall of Rbillions, the resented TV licence subsidy-tax becomes a thing of the past (best practice – like the rest of the World), and selling the SABC can be a successful template for other SOE’s being let go.Indeed it will send the right signal to ratings agencies & investors.

This spineless government of ours simply has no balls and no teeth!

Does anyone watch any Sabc tv channels?

I suspect that not even the sabc staff watch the sabc channels.

Switch it off.

Perhaps a merger with SAA would be a excellent move to strengthen the uselessness of both entities ?

The tax payer has deep pockets.

I understand it is traumatic. I’ve been there too. You can do all of these:

Fire the board.
Appoint an administrator.
Shutdown the SABC with strikes ands go-slows.
Expand the definition of a TV set and tax more devices.
Require a valid TV license when go to the optometrist.

None of this will improve the situation. Eventually the buck is going to stop. The longer it takes to stop, the worse the stop is going to be. Only 170 people out of 400 are potentially affected. Later it will 4000 out of 5000.

End of comments.

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