Mwasa urges SABC to follow law over retrenchments

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Media Workers’ Association of SA (Mwasa) says the SABC’s defective Section 189 notice on the Labour Relations Act, is a sign that management and the board did not follow the laws.

Mwasa general secretary Tuwani Gumani says if they want to fix the SABC, they must first start by following the law – including the labour and broadcasting legislation.

Gumani’s reaction came after the SABC had to withdraw a defective notice following their first failed consultative meeting with the three labour unions, Mwasa, Communications Workers Union (CWU) and Broadcasting‚ Electronic Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) on Friday.

He says while Mwasa supports the restructuring of the SABC – restructuring does not mean retrenchments.

“The fact that Section 189 notice is defective simply just tells you we have not come to the point where we read the letter of the law and where we apply the letter of the law as its reading.  Frankly, we want the SABC to restructure – it should have done this ten years ago.”

“Re-organise the operations of the SABC, re-organise the Human Resources of the SABC, re-organise the entire operations of the SABC. We must first get to that point and understand what is required. Retrenchment is not the solution. Retrenchment can very well be an ultimate last resort,” adds Gumani.

The SABC says its Section 189 notice of its intention to retrench employees has been put on hold until further details requested by the unions have been made available. Commenting on Friday’s meeting with the unions, spokesperson Neo Momodu says: “We have agreed that the Section 189 LRA will be put aside until further details as requested as organised labour are made available. This was agreed to in order to take the joint consensus seeking process forward. This was also to ensure that the parties work together in finding an amicable solution; in an attempt to avoid or minimize any possible retrenchments in terms of Section 189 of the LRA.”

Momodu adds that the parties have agreed that a CCMA facilitator should be appointed to lead the section 189 process. She says management and the labour unions will meet again in due course for further engagement and meaningful consultations. – Additional reporting by Horisani Sithole

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