Members of the non-profit organisation, Right2Know, have protested outside the SABC’s offices in Durban, saying the retrenchment and restructuring process undermines the public’s right to information.
Members called for the board to respect its public mandate.
Organisor, Asha Moodley says, “We think that the SABC board has to be more creative about finding ways to finance the SABC and retrenching the workers that is certainly not a way of acquiring more funding finances. Also, the good purpose is to ask the new SABC board to observe its constitutional mandate and that is to be independent people’s broadcaster.”
Right2Know member Thabo Maile also says the board should find other ways to make the SABC more sustainable
“If we can find the money for SAA why can’t you find the money for SABC. You know we not saying there should be a bailout for SABC but we are saying that the SABC can be saved. From where we are sitting we think the board has to do more and there’s a lot that can be done if you look at the SABC channels on DSTV, so why can’t we make DSTV pay for those channels.”
Labour Court dismisses Bemawu’s bid to have SABC redundancy letters retracted
On Wednesday, the Labour Court in Johannesburg dismissed the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) application to compel the SABC to retract redundancy letters issued as part of its restructuring process.
Court handing down judgment:
The union had also wanted the public broadcaster to engage in a fair process regarding its restructuring plans which could see as many as 400 permanent staff members lose their jobs.
The SABC has argued that the restructuring is necessary to make the public broadcaster financially sustainable.
SABC management has defended its restructuring plans, saying Bemawu’s court application is not urgent, as the retrenchment process has been put on hold until the end of December.
It also argued that it has significantly managed to reduce the number of employees who’ll be retrenched from 600 to 400.
The trade union says the SABC failed to engage in a fair consultation process before issuing termination letters.
President of the union Hannes du Buisson described the judgment as disappointing but says it is by no means the end of the road
“We are obviously very disappointed about the fact that the application has been dismissed and we think that the court did not have a proper and full understanding of the matter. The court has said in its brief after scanning through the judgment that we did not put the entire consultation process and all of those minutes which we requested from the SABC, but did not provide to us. We did not put that before the court and we think that on the basis of that, the court did not have that particular record of the consultation process.”