The SABC has announced the retrenchment of more than 600 employees as part of a restructuring process in its turnaround plan to reach long-term sustainability.
A Section 189 retrenchment process stretching over nine months commenced in June 2020 and is due to be concluded at the end of March 2021.
A new fit-for-purpose employee structure will be effective 1 April 2021.
“Subsequent to the conclusion of the resourcing of the new structure, the total number of employees who will leave the organisation at the end of March 2021 is 621,” the public broadcaster said.
275 of the retrenched employees were those who occupied positions that have become redundant, the SABC said.
“Some employees in this category went through the recruitment process seeking alternative opportunities but were, unfortunately, not successful,” the SABC said.
The remaining 346 employees have opted for voluntary severance packages.
“Some were concerned about the impact of lower job scale codes resulting from the organisation-wide job evaluation process, on current salaries and their pension,” the SABC said.
“These colleagues took voluntary severance packages as a first option and chose not to participate in any alternative job-seeking processes.”
“Extremely difficult” process
The SABC claimed it used its best endeavours and had managed to absorb affected employees who qualified for vacant positions during the process.
SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe said the retrenchment process had been extremely difficult for all stakeholders and had become emotionally charged at times.
“The extended process unfortunately also created prolonged uncertainty and a sense of despondency for many. This was understandable and regrettable,” Mxakwe stated.
“However, despite these challenges, the Section 189 process was a necessary component of the SABC’s turnaround plan to ensure the public broadcaster’s long term financial sustainability and capacity to fulfill its extensive public mandate,” he added.
Mxakwe said the process was necessary to “preserve and reposition the SABC as a resilient and viable public broadcaster and public media organisation”.
“We remain committed to transforming the SABC and taking its content everywhere, across platforms, on all devices and in all our languages. We want to be part of preserving this national treasure which has the public interest at the very heart of its existence,” Mxakwe stated.