Stop the job cuts, parliament tells SABC

Parliament has again told the SABC leadership to stop the process to retrench 600 workers and terminate the contracts of 1 200 freelancers.

In a letter to SABC board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini (in the picture), the portfolio committee on communications again implored the corporation to engage with stakeholders instead of continuing with a section 189 process.

The public broadcaster has for weeks been in an impasse with unions over the ongoing process to reduce its headcount to save R700-million. The ANC has warned the corporation against retrenching workers, saying the institution should consider beefing up its advertising team and complete its digital migration process before cutting jobs .

Portfolio committee chairperson Boyce Maneli said he had received correspondence from the SABC enquiring whether the committee supported the retrenchment of workers. He said the SABC could not finalise the process without concluding engagement with all stakeholders, emphasising that the job cuts had to be put on hold.

“Noting the feedback from the interaction with the unions of the SABC, the editorial forum, as well as at the backdrop of resolutions of fifth parliament, the committee emphasises that the SABC should halt the section 189 retrenchment process and should further ensure that the final skills audit is presented to parliament before embarking on a section 189 process,” he said.

The SABC management has previously said that it did not need the mandate of parliament to proceed with retrenchments. Spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo said: “The SABC board will submit its response to the portfolio committee on communications.”


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