Retrenchments will continue – SABC

Isaac Mahlangu Senior reporter
Image: Waldo Swiegers

The SABC has told staff that job cuts will continue after a day of drama with news employees refusing to go on air after some were served with retrenchment letters.

In a letter sent to staff on Wednesday morning, the SABC management told employees it was going ahead with the retrenchments.

Chaos erupted at Radio Park in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, on Tuesday afternoon after dozens of employees at the public broadcaster were served with letters of retrenchment on Tuesday in line with a plan to shed 400 jobs to reduce the SABC's salary bill.

Those  served with letters were also told that their positions had become redundant, leading to news employees going on a go-slow and calling for an immediate meeting with management. 

SABC group executive for news and current affairs Phathiswa Magopeni and the corporation's COO, Ian Plaatjies, attended the emotionally charged meeting in which Magopeni said no more retrenchment letters will be issued.

However, a note from group executive for human resources Dr Mojaki Mosia sent to staff on Wednesday morning, which Sowetan has seen, said management will "engage with the news team" on their concerns but the retrenchment process is still going ahead. 

"In light of the unfortunate incident which took place at our news division last night, please note that the S189 [retrenchment] process is continuing as planned. SABC management and its board apologise for any confusion that was created yesterday afternoon," Mosia said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Mogopeni told staff from radio and TV news and current affairs divisions that the process will be suspended.

“What I have committed to is I cannot continue issuing new letters and also cannot say to those people if we are going to set up a new process to re-consult or open up the process and start again. Those letters have no standing because we cannot be issuing letters while committing to a new process,” Magopeni said to news staff.

 

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