Tensions run high at SABC Auckland Park newsroom

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tensions ran high at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as news staff called for the resignation of the corporation’s management. This following the management’s decision to go ahead with the plans to retrench 400 permanent workers, with redundancy letters being issued since Friday.

SABC News staff called an urgent meeting to address the retrenchment process embarked on by management.

In an unexpected move, SABC GE of News, Phathiswa Magopeni, told management that she is no longer issuing letters of retrenchment and suggests a new process be initiated.

SABC Group Executive for News stops issuing retrenchment letters to staff:

SABC Reporter, Chriselda Lewis, visibly emotional, told management to take their structure and “go with it.”

“It must stop now. You need to go … take your structure. Go with it. Go and give us something that makes sense, sir. This ship … we were here, way before, sir, you were even appointed. We have been keeping this ship alive. We worked during coronavirus. We were in wards with people who had contracted the coronavirus. People here got infected with the virus. These are mothers, fathers, grandfathers, grandmothers…”

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says the announcement by SABC Group Executive of News Phathiswa Magopeni that she cannot continue issuing letters of redundancy under the current climate – is a temporary victory.

The process of issuing letters was supposed to be concluded by tomorrow. The SABC is yet to confirm whether all the letters of redundancy that have already been issued will be reversed.

CWU General Secretary Aubrey Tshabalala, “What we heard about the reversal of letters, that we’ll say it’s a temporary victory, so the fight is not over, Phathiswa and them cannot be trusted. We need to be very firm, we need to call for the removal of the Board of SABC. What Phathiswa is saying there about approaching government is something they should have done a long time ago. They’ve been here for years now, they’ve been blaming the previous administration without turning things around.”