SABC admits jobs are at risk in restructuring

The South African Broadcasting Corporation said in a statement on Monday it and labour had agreed to appoint a facilitator from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to consult with on restructuring which could affect 981 jobs.

The national broadcaster said it envisaged that all employees and at all levels in the SABC would be affected by restructuring.

"This would include 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 employees may possibly be retrenched as a result of the restructuring, across all the aforesaid business units and operations of the SABC," the statement said.

The statement said half of the 2 400 freelancers will be affected and that it expected to make a cost saving of approximately R440m per annum.

"This amount excludes the projected cost savings from the planned reduction of freelancers. The SABC commits to complying with all the legal requirements and will also ensure that employees are kept abreast of all developments throughout the Section 189 process," the statement said.

In a separate statement, the SABC said that it would approach the Labour Court to apply to have irregular appointments and promotions at the national broadcaster declared invalid.

The SABC said it would use the 2014 report of then-Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on the promotions and appointments. Mandonsela’s report had identified irregular appointments, promotions and salary increases of certain employees that are no longer with the SABC.

"Post the Public Protector’s report, the SABC has engaged in a verification process to determine whether, over the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2017, there were other possible irregular appointments, promotions and salary increases," said the SABC.

The statement said the verification process confirmed that there were employees who were either promoted, paid more or appointed irregularly.

SABC group CEO Madoda Mxakwe said "acting in the public interest, the SABC has a legal obligation, in terms of the Constitution, to correct all these irregular appointments, promotions and salary increases".

"The SABC will also approach the Labour Court, in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, in its quest to recover monies that were irregularly paid as salary increases during the period under review," the statement said.

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