Vavi warns against commercialising the SABC

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, has warned against commercialising the SABC, saying retrenchments will compromise the public broadcaster’s mandate.

The SABC announced last week that it’s going ahead with retrenchments and wants to complete the process by the end of this year.

Vavi says the SABC’s current funding model is a notch away from commercialisation and the move by the public broadcaster will hit its capacity and therefore deviate from its core mandate.

“That’s commercialisation for you and that’s austerity. Government is refusing to come to the party because it dare not increase that 3% funding. The result of it is that SABC’s capacity is going to decline big time, the next thing that we’re going to see is that there will be no journalist in the far outlining rural areas which SABC is the only institution that is currently covering because it is a public institution which has a mandate.”

In the video below, Vavi says SABC retrenchments will affect the public broadcaster’s mandate:

Jobs, as many as 400, are on the line at the SABC. That’s as management says it will press on with the retrenchments plan. Unions representing workers, however, are at odds with these plans and even threatening legal action to block retrenchments.

Bemawu to meet lawyers on way forward on planned retrenchments at SABC

Labour union Bemawu says it will meet with its legal team to map out the way forward on the planned retrenchments at the SABC.

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) is threatening legal action of its own.

Bemawu has instructed its lawyers to reinstate an urgent application to try and compel the SABC to meaningfully consult as required by Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act amid the public broadcaster’s move to continue with retrenchments.

In the video below, the SABC’s GCEO says they are going ahead with retrenchments: