Business Live reports that the SABC is set to cut as much as a fifth of its workforce as it moves to reduce its staggering wage bill. But unions are challenging the planned retrenchment of 600 workers, which comes after management recently approved above-inflation salary increases of 5%-6%. The public broadcaster announced on Thursday that it had issued a notice of possible redundancies. The SABC said the notice follows the launch of its new operating model — a strategic renewal initiative aimed at transforming the organisation into a “financially sustainable, self-sufficient and fit-for-purpose public broadcaster”.
“The notice of redundancy will impact about 600 employees, and these affected employees will be invited to make representations during a consultation process which will be facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA),” the broadcaster said. The Communications Workers Union (CWU) said the latest proposed retrenchments had taken workers by surprise. “We met SABC management last week to discuss the turnaround plan, including a skills audit, which is still ongoing. There was no mention of retrenchments then,” said CWU general secretary Aubrey Tshabalala. He said management and the board were acting in bad faith and lacked integrity. “The gloves are off. We will look at the proposal and we will challenge. This will be the biggest fight,” Tshabalala said.
by Bekezela Phakathi