SABC shutdown if job cuts aren’t called off, says union
Deafening chants of amandla ngawethu (power is ours) echoed through the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) headquarters in Johannesburg yesterday as protesters demanded the corporation cancel its retrenchment plans.
The protesters handed over a memorandum to the Group CEO Madoda Mxakwe, giving the broadcaster seven days to reverse the decision to retrench employees.
Faced with bloated staff numbers, a high wage bill and the consequences of the millions of rand squandered during Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s tenure as chief operating officer, the cash-strapped SABC recently announced plans to retrench about 1 000 staff and 1 200 freelancers.
The job-cutting would yield a cost saving of about R400 million yearly, according to the SABC.
To back its restructuring strategy, the SABC management has also supplied shocking figures, showing its total revenue for the 2017-18 financial year stood at R6.6 billion against a R7.3 billion budget. This amounts to an un- derperformance of R709 million.
Mxakwe, chief operating officer Chris Maroleng and human resources chief Jonathan Thekiso were booed when they came to accept the memorandum of demands from the Communications Workers Union (CWU) and Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu).
“Away with nepotism at the SABC”, “CWU against job losses”, “Don’t retrench workers, stop corruption”, “Bemawu is against job losses” and “SABC, please bring back Ngizwe Mchunu” were the messages on some of the placards carried by protesters.
CWU described the retrenchment plan as “synonymous with companies in the private sector where profit is placed ahead of the people”. It said: “We believe that top of challenges faced by the SABC is the question of finances.
“Therefore, it is not ideal to dismiss workers in the hope of generating profit. This is an old method that is not sustainable.”
The SABC said it’s committed to engaging unions in a meeting facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, set for next Tuesday.
SAYING NO: Cosatu members yesterday picket outside the SABC against planned staff retrenchments.