Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams says the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board has requested to be given until this Friday’s board meeting to consider proposals aimed at avoiding a jobs bloodbath at the public broadcaster.

Ndabeni-Abrahams and her Employment and Labour counterpart, Thulas Nxesi, have been meeting with the unions, the SABC board, as well as its executives over the public broadcaster’s plan to retrench more than 300 workers.

The meetings took place following threats of a blackout by unions, who have been demanding an end to the unfolding retrenchment process.

Last week workers embarked on a strike:

Ndabeni-Abrahams says both she and Nxesi have maintained, during the meetings, that all available avenues must be explored in order to mitigate the impact on workers.

She says this is also in light of the tough economic conditions due to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ndabeni-Abrahams says they put forward a number of alternative proposals for the unions and the SABC to consider and explore.

The Minister says the SABC board has committed to discuss the proposals at a meeting scheduled for this Friday. She says they have noted signs of progress and goodwill among the parties at the negotiating table.