The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers’ Union (Bemawu), says it is likely to approach the Labour Court this week after the SABC failed to respond to a letter by midday on Saturday.

Bemawu had demanded a response from the public broadcaster to return to talks over possible retrenchments.

Amongst others, the union demands that the SABC confirms in writing that it will – with immediate effect – resume the consultative process and that no members affiliated to Bemawu will be dismissed.

The SABC – in its June Section 189 notice – said that as many as 600 full time workers could be retrenched.

“No response at all, we checked last night with the lawyers, so not even a courtesy response from the SABC to say they have received the letter and that they will reply by any time. So it seems we are heading to the Labour Court and we will be drafting papers today and we will serve that by tomorrow and we hope to be there within the next few days in court,” says Hannes du Buisson, Bemawu’s President.

In the video below, SABC management and unions still at loggerheads over retrenchments:

On Saturday, the SABC confirmed that it received the letter from Bemawu.

SABC Group Executive for News and Current Affairs, Phathiswa Magopeni, has said the looming retrenchments at the public broadcaster cannot be avoided as the wage bill has to be reduced.

Earlier this week, 13 employees who are believed to have been irregularly appointed, were dismissed.

The public broadcaster says they were appointed without following proper processes when former Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng was at the helm of the organisation.

Reaction to looming SABC retrenchments: Nathan Bowers