Wednesday, March 31, is the last day of service for over 600 permanent South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) employees.

In a notice to staff on Tuesday, the public broadcaster said that it had concluded its section 189 retrenchment process and will transition to a new structure on the 1st of April.

The public broadcaster says 621 permanent employees will leave the organisation.

SABC management met with the unions on Tuesday.

The SABC says the job cuts are necessary to ensure its financial sustainability.

Click on the audio file below to listen to the full interview with Bemawu:

Labour unions say it will compromise the quality of the broadcaster’s content and that the staff that remains will have an increased workload.

Employees who are leaving have lamented the SABC’s handling of the retrenchments.

“There didn’t seem to be any fairness or transparency out of the whole process. One has given 16 years of their life working for an organisation and I have given everything but it feels like it means nothing. I have been part of the SABC service for the past 32 years and it saddens me that we have to leave like this. It’s really unfortunate that we as experienced crew of the SABC had to be taken out at a time when they really do need the experience. As a result of [these retrenchments] being unexpected, we have not made plans as to what we are doing afterward,” say some of the affected employees.

In the video below, Bemawu threatens legal action following SABC retrenchments: