Lobby group, Right-to-Know, has urged the SABC to look at other ways of generating income and cutting costs than shedding jobs. This as the public broadcaster announces that it will forge ahead with the retrenchments that could potentially affect 400 full-time members of staff.
The SABC is expected to send letters of redundancy to affected staff by Wednesday next week and wants the process to be completed before the end of the year.
Some workers have threatened to down tools on Monday over the retrenchments.
SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe says they have exhausted all avenues and reducing the headcount is the only way to save the broadcaster.
Right-to-Know’s Thami Nkosi disagrees. “That’s not the only way to deal with the issues. What other avenues can be explored? Because we know the presentation of the Board to the Parliamentary Portfolio on Communications has not necessarily given the breakdown essentially of how best this is going to work out.”
“So we’re saying, the shedding of jobs is not the only way that will save the SABC and what else can we do essentially to try and balance the scale with regards to retaining jobs and yet at the same time making the SABC profitable because it needs to generate income but job shedding is not the silver bullet.”
SABC retrenchments | Right-to-know responds:
Mxakwe says salaries currently account for 43% of all expenses.
“When you run an organisation, your expenses cannot be higher than the revenue that you attract. And we have done everything that we could. We have tried to reduce expenses significantly by close to about a billion … cost-cutting measures but that’s not sufficient. Unfortunately, painful as it is, the organisation has reached a point where we now need to implement Section 189. This is the reality to say, do we continue with this which will potentially result in the collapse of the organisation, or do we deal with the bloated structure that we have.”
Bemawu to challenge retrenchments in court next week: