EFF condemns SABC retrenchment plans

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Reaction continues pouring in to the SABC’s intention to begin a retrenchment process. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is the latest political party to air its views on the matter. It has condemned the decision, saying it will only lead to the demise of the public broadcaster.

The SABC has issued employees with a Section 189 notice with the possibility of cutting 600 permanent jobs and 1 200 freelance posts The organisation cited a dire financial situation as the main reason.

Last year, the public broadcaster was granted a R3.2 billion bailout by government. EFF spokesperson Delisile Ngwenya says the SABC should look at other ways of revenue generation, such as selling television content to the overseas market, to become financially viable and retain jobs.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and United Democratic Movement (UDM) have also raised their voices over the possible retrenchments.

“We share the frustration and the anxiety of SABC staff members who are worried at this time that they could lose their jobs. We have asked that the SABC appear before the Parliamentary Committee of Communications as a matter of urgency so that they can brief us about their plans and we can satisfy ourselves that they have indeed considered all options and retrenchments are a very-very last resort,” says DA Member of the Parliament’s Communications and Digital Technologies Committee, Phumzile van Damme.

The UDM says companies, including the SABC, should find other alternatives to save jobs instead of retrenching staff.

“When companies incur financial losses, there should be other attempts to ensure that the institution is saved without resorting necessarily to retrenchments especially during this difficult time when many people are losing jobs and South  Africa is going to be facing massive job losses around the corner,” says UDM Member of the Committee, Nqabayomzi Kwankwa.

The Public Broadcaster will update Parliament on the planned restructuring measures in a three-hour virtual meeting on Wednesday.

Bailout in 2019

Currently, the SABC has 3 011 employees. In 2019, the government announced that the public broadcaster would receive a R3.2 bailout.

The bailout was granted under stringent conditions. These included the public broadcaster submitting a list of identified initiatives for revenue enhancement and cost-cutting initiatives, and thorough investigation into the cause of its financial collapse.

Last year January, the organisation was declared technically insolvent after a struggle with paying its creditors.

In the video below, Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams outlines conditions of the 2019 bailout: 

Unions aren’t impressed over the looming retrenchments at the public broadcaster.

Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (BEMAWU) plans lodging an urgent application at the Labour Court to stop the planned retrenchments while the Communications Workers Union (CWU) says the news has caught it off guard.

The union says the SABC didn’t say anything about job cuts when they met to discuss the organisation’s restructuring plans.

In the video below, Bemawu reacts to the news on the SABC: 


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