SABC retrenchments on hold until next year as ministers intervene

After coming under political and union pressure, the SABC board has decided not to proceed with 400 planned job cut — needed as part of a plan to save itself from financial collapse — until at least January.

The move to delay the retrenchments comes despite the board’s insistence that urgent cuts are needed if the public broadcaster is to turn itself around financially and not once again go back to national treasury for a bailout. The board had previously agreed to a one-week moratorium on the layoffs.


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“The SABC board has extended the suspension of the section 189 process to the end of December 2020 to enable additional consulations. This decision followed further engagements with organised labour and other stakeholders,” the organisation said in a statement.

The moratorium on the retrenchments comes after communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and labour minister Thulas Nxesi on Monday met with the SABC board.

“A functional SABC is in the interests of all South Africans. I am therefore determined to support efforts aimed at finding an amicable solution to the problem,” Ndabeni-Abrahams said in a statement.

‘Further review’

The SABC board said that it will now “jointly work with all participating parties to further review the proposed structures with the intent to ensure that they are optimal and enabling to achieve the public mandate of the SABC”.

“The SABC and the participating parties will utilise this time for further mediated sessions with an independent labour expert to explore alternative options to minimise the impact of retrenchments. The issued redundancy letters will also be extended by the same period. The section 189 process has not been terminated.”  — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media

Duncan McLeod is Editor of TechCentral. 

This article was first published on TechCentral, here.