Broadcasting Services

SABC Kicks Off Retrenchment Process - One-Third Of Staff To Go!

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has issued a communication to staff stating that it will retrench quite a large number of employees in an attempt to save costs.

The SABC had met with unions in September to discuss the possible reduction of employees to cut its high salary expense. These upcoming retrenchments seem to be the outcomes of that meeting.

The state broadcaster confirmed it would action Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act, retrenching approximately 981 of its 3,400 permanent employees and half of its freelancers.

The SABC released a statement declaring that all employees at all levels in the SABC would be affected by the restructuring.

The SABC has scheduled to complete this process by the end of January 2019 in an attempt to turn around its disastrous financial situation.
The national broadcaster also promises to address the shocking levels of corruption and maladministration that have been prevalent within the corporation for many years”.

The SABC has been in severe financial strife for a while now, even posting an enormous R622-million loss for the year that ended on 31 March 2018.

Kimi Makwetu, the Auditor-General expressed that the SABC’s financial woes were so dire that the public broadcaster was declared commercially insolvent as it could no longer pay its debts on time.

This is despite the high salaries raked in by SABC senior management and executives, many of whom got paid over R1 million in total remuneration in the previous financial year.

Bongumusa Makhathini, the Chairman of the SABC, said that the SABC board had created measures to stabilise the corporation.

He said that the corporation was still paying the price and trying to recover from many years of weak leadership, failed governance, and poor decision-making.

Makhathini added that Self-inflicted actions such as the arbitrary 90-10 decision continue to have a severe impact on the SABC’s revenue.

In its statement addressing the retrenchments, the SABC said it was looking forward to saving approximately R440 million per year after the restructuring.

This amount would be excluding the estimated cost savings that the SABC would achieve from the planned reduction of freelancers.

The SABC said that it would follow all relevant legal steps and requirements, and would ensure that they remain transparent to employees throughout the developments surrounding the restructuring.


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