The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it’s considering different alternatives to minimise the impact of its planned retrenchments on employees. The public broadcaster had given stakeholders until last Friday to make submissions on its restructuring plans.
Trade union, Bemawu, last week temporarily suspended its urgent application to the Labour Court over the SABC‘s plans that will affect around 600 permanent staff and over a thousand freelancers.
The union sought to obtain an interdict to stop the public broadcaster from effecting dismissals and to force the SABC to continue consultations.
SABC COO Ian Plaatjies says, “What we’re busy with now is affording stakeholders an opportunity to present us with alternatives or recommended criteria. So in terms of the proposed structure, it will change based on the inputs that we received from stakeholders and recommendations.”
“From a managing point of view, we are doing everything in our power to make sure that we look at alternatives to minimize the impact on employees,” Plaatjies explains.
On Friday, Bemawu also said the public broadcaster failed to provide adequate reasons for presenting different structures to the unions. Unions at the SABC have been engaging with the public broadcaster regarding the possible retrenchment of 600 full-time workers.
Bemawu said it has proposed to the SABC that it offers voluntary retrenchment packages for up to 450 employees over the age of 55 and avoid retrenchments. The union argued that job losses at the public broadcaster were avoidable.
Bemawu also said the SABC would soon reach its staffing targets through attrition and there was no need to axe staff, especially during these very difficult economic times.
The SABC has been in consultation with workers’ representatives over the past four months.