The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) says the SABC’s plan to proceed with the retrenchment of staff confirms the union’s suspicion that management did not exhaust the extended 30-day consultation process to find ways of saving jobs.

The public broadcaster announced on Thursday that the number of employees who faced retrenchment had been reduced from 600 to just over 300.

However, this number could still change depending on staff accepting alternatives such as a three-year salary freeze, a reduction in annual and sick leave as well as the number of people who opt for voluntary severance packages and early retirement.

CWU General-Secretary Aubrey Tshabalala says the SABC has not been engaging in good faith.

“After we presented and made submissions, the SABC came up with their reviewed plan, and they did not give us a chance as a union to interrogate their reviewed plan, nor did they give us a position [an opportunity] to go and consult with our members in terms of refreshing the mandate which is a fundamental right of a union,” he says.

“They also say they are not going to listen to the shareholder. So that attitude on its own tells you we have wrong minds at a wrong place,” explains Tshabalala.

Meanwhile, SABC Chief Operations Officer Ian Plaatjies says they are going ahead with the plans in a bid to make the public broadcaster financially sustainable.

In the video below, Plaatjies elaborates on the section 189 process: