SABC COO meeting unions unhappy with plan to commercialise SAfm

SABC chief operations officer Chris Maroleng is planning to meet unions to discuss proposed changes at the public broadcaster that have upset many staff members, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said on Friday.

“The issues around that engagement with unions and the SABC are done directly with each other. The COO said he will meet with them about the issues,” said Kganyago.

Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) secretary general Aubrey Tshabalala said the two main issues were that the proposed changes would be made without consultation, and that plans to reshuffle programming at SAfm and commercialise it would be in violation of the broadcaster’s mandate to dedicate that station to public service.

If the changes go ahead, the CWU said it would have no option but to go the legal route. The union is currently getting legal opinion on whether to approach the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration or the Labour Court.

Tshabalala said some of the changes involve bringing new staff members on board, when the SABC is supposed to be penny pinching.

“If the company does not budget, we will have to notify them of a legal process,” he said.

The union wants to understand the rationale behind the changes, for new appointments to be transparent and for internal talent to be considered for vacant positions.

Comment was not immediately available from the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers’ Union.


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SABC COO meeting unions unhappy with plan to commercialise SAfm