SABC set to axe 981 employees in restructure

A picture taken on October 20, 2010 shows the logo of SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) at its headquarters in Johannesburg. South Africa's crisis-hit public broadcaster posted a modest profit in the first six months of the 2010 financial year after a financial meltdown forced a government bail-out the previous year. AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN

The SABC currently employs 3 376 (three thousand three hundred and seventy six) employees and 2400 freelancers.

The redundancy strategy according to the memo is that a cost saving of close on R440 Million to the SABC is envisaged.

The entire operational and organizational structure of the SABC has been shaken to the core due to financial drawbacks.

In a memo from Madoda Mxakwe, Group Chief Executive Officer, employees have received their Section 189 notice stating that,

“Unless drastic measures are taken to try restore the financial viability of the SABC, it would as an organization simply not be financially viable going forward.”

The SABC has indicated that it will retain the services of the most suitably qualified, experienced and skilled employees in the remaining available positions.

Freelancers to be axed

Approximately 1 200 freelance employees (independent contractors) will have their contracts terminated to further reduce possible retrenchment of employees.

No one is safe at SABC with the restructure

Employees and at all levels at the broadcaster are affected by the restructure.  This includes Group Services, Provincial Operations, Commercial Enterprises, Media Technology and Infrastructure, News, Radio, Sport and Television.

At this stage, and should retrenchments be necessary, it is envisaged that 981 (nine hundred and eighty one) employees may possibly be retrenched as a result of the restructuring, across all the aforesaid business units and operations of the SABC.

It is intended that the consultation process be finalized by 31 January 2019. If termination of employment is then the end result of such consultation process, it is proposed that contractual notice of termination of employment be given with effect from 1 February 2019.

Cost cutting

The broadcaster has admitted that “a number of irregular and unlawful operational decisions made by former senior executives need to be remedied.”

The SABC in the memo indicated that it has already embarked upon several cost cutting measures and that a complete organizational wide restructuring and reduction of positions can be avoided, and with it, the issue of possible retrenchments are regrettably contemplated.

According to the memo in our possession, the SABC has indicated that a bailout is not possible at current;

  1. The situation has been further exacerbated by the fact that the SABC has been unable to secure government guarantees and external funding from financial institutions for its operations.
  2. Instances of unlawful and irregular promotions and increases afforded to employees, resulting in an inflated remuneration cost and the payment of salaries to employees that are not commensurate to the actual positions occupied by employees. The SABC is also overstaffed, considering its actual operational needs.
  3. It is also needed to re-evaluate the entire organizational structure in the SABC, so as to determine the proper remuneration and duties and responsibilities associated with all remaining positions.

The broadcaster has indicated that it will try to ensure it retains the best skills through the process.

It has proposed a method of selection based on an objective assessment of the skills, experience, expertise and qualifications of employees.

About Indianspice Staff Reporter

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