SABC Changes Mind On Staff Retrenchment, For Now

Image Courtesy Tracy Lee Stark (Randburg Sun)

The national broadcaster, SABC, has changed its mind on an earlier announcement to cut its staff by around 400 people. According to reports, the company withdrew letters of dismissal, it had sent out, on Tuesday after a meeting between the management and staff members.

Reports indicate that an emergency meeting was held on Tuesday, November 17, between the two groups of stakeholders, resulting in the group making a u-turn on the retrenchment.

However, SABC through its human resources executive, Mojaki Mosia, said the restructuring process could not be avoided as it was part of efforts to cut costs within the organisation. “There are three major cost drivers. The first is the salary bill and the second one is the signal distribution, and the third one is content. If we appreciate what the business is all about, it is about content investment. If we do not invest in content, we will not be in a position to attract audiences,” said Mosia.

The news of this massive layoffs was not received well, by employees and the industry at large. For instance, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) had warned SABC of an imminent blackout if the retrenchment plans were not shelved.

Reducing Costs

Despite the retrenchment ideas, SABC has seen a decline in its year-to-year irregular expenditure, by about 40%. The expenditures amounted to R200 Million, compared to R336 Million the previous financial year.

The national broadcaster said year-on-year fruitless expenditure has decreased by 87%, equating to an R27 million reduction in costs.

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