SABC refutes retrenchment claims

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The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has refuted the contents of a Sunday Times article which indicates that the public broadcaster plans to cut a third of its staff and some regional offices such as Kimberley in the Northern Cape, Pretoria in Gauteng and Montague Gardens in the Western Cape will be closed.

The SABC instead says it wants to put it on record that it does not have any new plans to retrench staff. It also says it was only asked about National Treasury’s 11 pre-conditions for the SABC’s application for funding.

The organisation says there was no discussion around the issue of retrenchments.

In a statement released on Sunday it says a skills audit is currently under way at the SABC in relation to staff optimisation.

SABC’s Spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu says she cannot comment on the numbers that are in the newspaper because of the skills audit.

“Right now there’s a skills audit under way and I would not be able to talk to those numbers which are in the report. The process is underway, I wouldn’t want to put a date to it but once that process if finalised, there definitely will be engagement with various stakeholders in terms of the way forward.”

The statement further emphasises that, “In addition, it must be reiterated that on 31 January 2019, the corporation announced that it had aborted the process of Section 189 of the LRA and would not renew the notice to invoke Section 189.”

This followed constructive and extensive engagements with various stakeholders, including the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications, Organised Labour and SABC employees.

The SABC requests that the process of the funding application be allowed to be finalised, in order not to create panic and uncertainty amongst SABC employees and the public at large.

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