Hlaudi ready to ‘load shed’ staff at SABC

CityPress - - News - CHARL BLIG­NAUT charl.blig­naut@city­press.co.za

The two ma­jor unions at the SABC have de­clared dis­putes over an­nual wage ne­go­ti­a­tions af­ter the cor­po­ra­tion’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng, this past week told staff to ac­cept his 8% in­crease of­fer, or they would be “load shed”.

By Fri­day, dis­putes had been de­clared by the Broad­cast, Elec­tronic, Me­dia & Al­lied Work­ers’ Union (Be­mawu) and the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Work­ers’ Union (CWU).

Sources said that at the gen­eral staff meet­ing on Tues­day, Mot­soe­neng also told work­ers “nonunion staff will re­ceive their 8% at the end of June”.

“No way as a trade union can we ac­cept such a thing,” said CWU deputy gen­eral sec­re­tary Thabo Mo­galane.

“This is a public broad­caster. It is sup­posed to pur­sue the ideals of gov­ern­ment ... He is un­der­min­ing the work­ing peo­ple.”

SABC spokesper­son Kaizer Kganyago de­nied the ac­counts from staff.

“At no point did [Mot­soe­neng] say staff would be ‘load shed’ if the of­fer on the ta­ble was not ac­cepted.

“What Mr Mot­soe­neng said was that, as an or­gan­i­sa­tion, we have to be re­spon­si­ble not to of­fer a per­cent­age that is not sus­tain­able, as we would be run­ning the risk of pos­si­ble re­trench­ments in the fu­ture.”

A per­son who was at the meet­ing said af­ter it had taken place: “This is union­bash­ing of the first de­gree. We had not even de­clared a dis­pute at that stage.”

The unions are es­pe­cially in­fu­ri­ated by Mot­soe­neng’s han­dling of ne­go­ti­a­tions be­cause staff re­ceived an 8.5% in­crease even dur­ing the SABC’s dark­est fi­nan­cial days.

And, said Be­mawu pres­i­dent Hannes du Buis­son: “Not long ago, Mot­soe­neng and the min­is­ter of com­mu­ni­ca­tions [Faith Muthambi] stood there and told Par­lia­ment that the SABC, a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, had R1 bil­lion in the bank while they only needed R600 mil­lion to run the cor­po­ra­tion.”

Sev­eral sources said the SABC had re­cently put out a ten­der for the re­fur­bish­ment of its gym, or “well­ness cen­tre”, and Muthambi had told Par­lia­ment R3 mil­lion a year was spent on the SABC choir. Du Buis­son said: “We have doc­u­men­tary proof that a con­sul­tant was re­cently hired on a R100 000-a-month salary to con­sult on work where there is an en­tire depart­ment in place – or­gan­i­sa­tional devel­op­ment – to do the same work. So clearly, they have money to spend.”

The SABC re­sponded only to the mat­ter of the gym, which Kganyago said should be ap­plauded be­cause it ben­e­fited staff.

He said: “In terms of this year’s of­fer, it is com­par­a­tively bet­ter than what staff re­ceived last year.

“The of­fer in to­tal amounts to 10% and this in­cor­po­rates an in­crease in benefits.”

Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.