The SABC maintains that its Section 189 process will be completed by the end of this week. And those workers who do not get absorbed in the new organisational structure will have to take their severance package and leave at the end of March.

The public broadcaster was briefing Parliament’s oversight committee on the retrenchment process as well as its 2019/2020 financials.

SABC Group Chief Executive for Human Resources Mojaki Mosia has told parliament’s Communications Committee that he does not anticipate that unions will cooperate with proposed cost-cutting measures, including a three year-salary freeze.

Another proposal is that annual leave be reduced from 35 calendar days to 28.

Mosia says in spite of labour’s stance against retrenchments and cost-cutting, he is confident the SABC board will agree to a salary freeze as directed by National Treasury.

“It would be very difficult for any organisation that is constituency-based, which initially took a posture that they are going to stop the process and they have communicated such to their members explicitly, went to court twice. Notwithstanding that they are still on record in rejection mode – I don’t want to use the word denial – to now accept the process and communicate that to their members.”

SABC presents 2019/20 annual report to Parliament:

The SABC says it’s trying to reinject business fundamentals to ensure the organisation is financially sustainable.

SABC GCEO Madoda Mxakwe explains how the SABC will be making a profit in the next two fiscal years and break even in 2023 to fulfill the unfunded mandate.

Plans are afoot to reduce net losses of half a billion rand, lower irregular expenditure of R200 million and tighten internal controls.

SABC CFO Yolande van Biljon says there are now frequently asked questions to supply chain workers to ensure they comply.

But there are still concerns about National Treasury funding the unfunded mandate like COVID-19 public announcements.

Alternative proposals

Communications Minister Stella 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.

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.

Unions plan for strike action over SABC retrenchments: