sabcBL Premium reports that the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has defied communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams’s attempts to reduce or possibly avert job cuts at the public broadcaster.  

This has set the stage for what is likely to be a tense showdown in the days ahead as unions, emboldened by the minister’s backing, push back against the retrenchment plans.  The SABC’s plan to cut about 10% of its 3,000-strong workforce is "being implemented following extensive consultations with various stakeholders", Mmoni Seapolelo, who speaks on behalf of the SABC, said on Tuesday.  "At this stage affected employees are applying for available vacancies as identified in the new organisational structure and interviews have started and offers for successful candidates are being finalised," Seapolelo indicated.  Ndabeni-Abrahams last week wrote to SABC board chair Bongumusa Makhathini suggesting that the cash-strapped public broadcaster should hold back on retrenchments and discuss other options with unions.  This came after months of consultations that led to the SABC agreeing to retrench 303 workers, about half what it had originally said it needed to cut to put it on the path to a sustainable wage bill.  The SABC said while it was considering alternatives such as salary freezes, job cuts were unavoidable.  In her letter last week, Ndabeni-Abrahams said her intervention was not side-stepping a Labour Court ruling in January that the retrenchment process was above board, but was to minimise the effect of retrenchments. 

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