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Freeze on salaries and bonuses mooted

We don't all support job cuts - SABC board member

Isaac Mahlangu Senior reporter
The SABC board is divided on retrenchments at the SABC.
The SABC board is divided on retrenchments at the SABC.
Image: Tyrone Arthur

The SABC board is divided on the retrenchments currently being undertaken at the public broadcaster in favour of other alternatives, including freezing salaries, to save jobs.

SABC deputy board chairperson Mamodupi Mohlala told Sowetan that five  board  members out of 11 wanted other alternatives such as freezing of salaries and bonuses to be considered as opposed to laying off 400 workers.

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 newsroom staff embarking on a go-slow and calling for an immediate meeting with management.

Mohlala said although they were in the minority in the board, they strongly felt that they needed to push to keep SABC staff motivated, especially after receiving a bailout from government.

"Staff morale needs to be high at the SABC, especially because we've just received a bailout and we need to do a turnaround. The only way we will  be able to do a turnaround is when we have  motivated staff with high morale," Mohlala said.

She added: "We are saying let's look at other options; I am saying there are other options that are available. We can undertake a proper consultation process and look at freezing salary increases, bonuses and other things."

Mohlala said they as the minority felt that "retrenchments cannot be a default position". "The issue of the section 189 (retrenchments) has always been a problem (for us)."

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