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SABC may retrench close to 1‚000 staff

The SABC is planning to retrench staff.
The SABC is planning to retrench staff.
Image: Waldo Swiegers

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is to proceed with a Section 189 process and says it may retrench close to 1‚000 employees as part of the restructuring‚ which it estimates should result in a cost saving of about R400m per annum.

It also plans to halve the number of freelancers it uses from 2‚400 to 1‚200.

A notice was issued to all staff on Monday informing them of the public broadcaster’s intention to proceed with Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA).

“The process was halted following the joint consensus seeking meeting held on 12 October 2018 with organized labour. At this meeting it was agreed that the LRA’s Section 189 notice will be put in abeyance until further details as requested by organized labour‚ were made available. The meeting also agreed to the appointment of a Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) facilitator who will foresee the consultation process.

“It is envisaged that all employees and at all levels in the SABC will be affected by the restructuring. This would include Group Services‚ Provincial Operations‚ Commercial Enterprises‚ Media Technology and Infrastructure‚ News‚ Radio‚ Sport and Television. At this stage‚ and should retrenchments be necessary‚ it is envisaged that 981 employees may possibly be retrenched as a result of the restructuring‚ across all the aforesaid business units and operations of the SABC. Out of the 2‚400 freelancers‚ 1‚200 will be affected‚” the SABC said in a statement on Monday.

It added: “This exercise should result in a cost saving of approximately R440 Million per annum‚ even at this preliminary stage. This amount excludes the projected cost savings from the planned reduction of freelancers.

“The SABC commits to complying with all the legal requirements and will also ensure that employees are kept abreast of all developments throughout the Section 189 process.”

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