The SABC has announced that it has decided not to renew the notice to invoke Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act. The public broadcaster’s management made the announcement on Thursday at its headquarters in Auckland Park, where it’s addressed members of staff.
It says its decision is in the interest of the SABC, its employees, key stakeholders and the South African public at large.
Management says this follows constructive and extensive engagements with various stakeholders, including the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications, Organised Labour and SABC staff.
SABC management met with leaders Organised Labour and SABC employees to discuss the envisaged way forward.
The public broadcaster consultative process on the possible retrenchment were intended to lay off 981 permanent staff and non-renewal of contracts of 1200 freelancers.
Trade union BEMAWU has welcomed the announcement. BEMAWU spokesperson Hannes du Buisson is very happy.
“We are ecstatic, very happy, and it’s the first time in months that I have seen people smiling at the SABC. That is the right decision from the side of the SABC. We kept on talking to the SABC and advised them that that is not the route to go that it’s going to untold harm to the SABC as an organisation. We are very close to elections and to make those kind of changes to the SABC is of course could be impacting on the SABC’s ability to deliver on its mandate.”
Read SABC Full statement:
UPDATE TO STAFF ON THE SECTION 189 OF THE LRA PROCESS
Today, 31 January 2019, marks the expiry of the notice of the consultation process between the SABC and Organised Labour as prescribed in terms of section 189 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA). This is a follow-up to a communique we sent to all our employees and leaders of Organised Labour on 6 December 2018, indicating that the contemplated section 189 of the LRA process would be held in abeyance until further notice.
In the interest of the SABC, our employees, key stakeholders and the South African public at large, the SABC has decided not to renew the notice to invoke section 189 of the LRA. This follows constructive and extensive engagements with various stakeholders, including the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications, Organised Labour and our own employees.
All our stakeholders acknowledge the need to review the increase in costs, including the compensation bill, hence the need to conduct a thorough Skills Audit and related activities. The success of a Skills Audit intervention is dependent on, amongst other things, current job profiles. In this regard, new job profiles will be formulated where necessary and current ones will be confirmed.
These will help the SABC in creating a fit-for-purpose structure, with clearly defined spans of control, appropriate layers of management and appropriate skills and competencies for roles. This will ensure that the SABC meets its strategic objective of operating optimally and competitively in a digitised environment.
The duration of all these interventions will take approximately fourteen months from February 2019 and staff will be kept updated throughout the process.
The SABC management met leaders of Organised Labour and employees on 31 January 2019 to discuss these new developments.