The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has added its voice against the looming retrenchments at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and the South African Qualifications Authority.

The SABC has been issuing letters of redundancy to 400 permanent employees.

Affected employees have been informed about positions that would no longer exist, or the cutting of the number of employees in other positions.

However, the SABC has announced that it is suspending the section 189 process for a week to allow further consultation.

SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe said on Friday he will respond to workers’ demands next week.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says job cuts at the SABC will not only add the numbers of unemployed, but it will compromise the public broadcaster’s mandate of reaching the poorest of the poor some who are in deep rural areas.

“The media reported widely on imminent retrenchments in the country, in particular in some of the state owned entities. This includes the SABC as well as the South African Qualifications Authority. We have heard the cry and pain of workers especially those who are employed by the SABC and in various entities. For a long time, the media industry has been shading jobs and this is now frustrating coming to workers even at the level of the SABC.”

Some SABC employees in KwaZulu-Natal who have not received redundancy letters say they have been saddened to see the pain their colleagues are experiencing.

The employees say the retrenchment process will affect rural communities that are serviced by the public broadcaster.

SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe to respond to workers’ demands next week:

The workers say although they will personally be affected by the process, the community at large will suffer.

Staffers across the country took to the streets, demanding that the retrenchment process be scrapped immediately.

The Communication Workers Union is calling for the board to be dissolved and the SABC to be placed under administration.

The African National Congress (ANC), whose members also came out in solidarity with SABC staff, are adamant that no worker should lose their job.