Approximately 621 employees are set to leave the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) after the public broadcaster announced that it has completed its Section 189 retrenchment process.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the SABC confirmed that the retrenchments will be effective from Thursday, 1 April.
“The reduction of employee costs is central to the SABC’s Turnaround Plan and its long-term sustainability. The Section 189 process began with the issuing of the notice in June 2020, and after an intensive nine month period, will conclude on 31 March 2021.
“Subsequent to the conclusion of the resourcing of the new structure, the total number of employees who will leave the organisation at the end of March 2021 is 621.”
The public broadcaster explained that 346 employees out of the total had decided to take the voluntary severance packages route, while the other 275 jobs had become redundant.
“Some were concerned about the impact of lower job scale codes resulting from the organisation-wide job evaluation process, on current salaries and their pension. These colleagues took voluntary severance packages as a first option and chose not to participate in any alternative job-seeking processes.
“The other 275 employees are those who occupied positions that have become redundant. Some employees in this category went through the recruitment process seeking alternative opportunities but were, unfortunately, not successful.
“The SABC used its best endeavours and managed to absorb affected employees who qualified for vacant positions during the recruitment process.”
Meanwhile, SABC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Madoda Mxakwe said that the retrenchments were necessary for the broadcaster’s turnaround plan.
“The retrenchment process has been extremely difficult for all stakeholders and became emotionally charged at times.
“The extended process unfortunately also created prolonged uncertainty and a sense of despondency for many. This was understandable and regrettable.
“However, despite these challenges, the Section 189 process was a necessary component of the SABC’s turnaround plan to ensure the public broadcaster’s long term financial sustainability and capacity to fulfil its extensive public mandate.
“The process was necessary to preserve and reposition the SABC as a resilient and viable public broadcaster and public media organisation,” she said.