SABC will no longer lay off a third of its employees

As a result of corruption and maladministration scandals, parliament has dissolved SABC’s board several times in recent years.
A picture taken on October 20, 2010 shows the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) headquarters in Johannesburg. South Africa’s crisis-hit public broadcaster posted a modest profit in the first six months of the 2010 financial year after a financial meltdown forced a government bail-out last year. AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP)

South Africa’s cash-strapped public broadcaster on Thursday announced it would drop plans to lay off a third of its full-time employees as it looks for other savings to cut mounting debts.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) said the decision to not lay off staff was in the “interest of the SABC, its employees, key stakeholders and the South African public at large.”

The SABC’s financial troubles deepened during the tenure of its former chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, an ally of ex-president Jacob Zuma.

As a result of corruption and maladministration scandals, parliament has dissolved SABC’s board several times in recent years.

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The company in November approached the labour arbitration agency to retrench 981 of its 3,370 staffers.

Another 1,200 of its 2,400 freelancers were also earmarked for dismissal.

“They are withdrawing the retrenchment plan,” Aubrey Tshabalala, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), told AFP.

SABC said an “skills audit” would be held to assess labour needs.

The country’s auditor-general Kimi Makwetu last year said the broadcaster, which has in recent years relied on government loans for its survival, was commercially insolvent.


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