The Broadcasting Electronic Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) says it’s disappointed that about 981 permanent SABC employees may lose their jobs and 1200 freelancers may not have their contracts renewed.

This comes as the public broadcaster issued a notice to all its employees informing them of its intention to embark on retrenchments as a cost saving measure.

Bemawu’s Hannes du Buisson says, “We are shocked by the notice that we received. That is not the kind of news that one would like to hear at all, especially not this time of the year. We thought that the SABC would reconsider rather putting people in the streets, find ways to redeploy those people at all necessary.”

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) has also condemned the SABC for announcing that it intends to retrench a large number of workers.

CWU president Aubrey Tshabalala says, “We are shocked like everyone else. Because in the last meeting that we had was that we are going to have the CCMA’s intervention on the matter in terms of the number of people affected and departments. That has not yet happened but we find SABC finding it necessary to go public.”

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