South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) COO, Ian Plaatjies, has dismissed claims that he’ll be terminating his contract with the public broadcaster and moving to competing broadcaster, eMedia Holdings, the parent company of eTV. He took over the role of COO at the national broadcaster in November 2019.

Plaatjies says he remains committed to executing the remainder of his contract with the SABC. He says he has only served a year of his five-year contract.

Plaatjies says he plans on reporting the false claims to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA).

“The report of me moving over to eNCA is false.  I have neither engaged eMedia nor this reporter or anyone else about any prospects of me leaving the SABC. This misleading reporting will be reported to the BCCSA and to the publication to retract this untruth and apologies for this false reporting.”

The COO further says the work the SABC board is doing goes beyond the sustainability of the SABC.

“The transformational work the SABC Board and management is doing has far reaching consequences beyond the sustainability of the SABC, that is, to grow of the local industry.  This requires a continuity of the leadership that is spearheading the SABC turnaround, and I am committed to seeing this to fruition.”

‘Retrenchments compromise public mandate’

The KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said on Friday that planned retrenchments 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 SABC has been issuing letters of redundancy to 400 permanent employees. Affected employees were informed about positions that would no longer exist, or the cutting of the number of employees in other positions.

 IFP writes to parliament requesting a special sitting to resolve SABC upheavals:

However, the public broadcaster announced that it is suspending the Section 189 process for a week to allow further consultation.

Zikalala said they have heard the cries of the workers.

“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 sheading jobs and this is now frustrating coming to workers even at the level of the SABC.”

Bongumusa Makhathini says split over retrenchment causes even deeper division: