sabcMail & Guardian reports that the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) will continue with the retrenchment of 303 workers, despite interventions from Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni- Abrahams.  

The public broadcaster’s acting spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo indicated:  It must be noted that following an extensive consultation process with various stakeholders, this process has been concluded and is currently being implemented.  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.  In addition, several early retirements have been accepted.”  In January, Ndabeni-Abrahams wrote to the SABC board and recommended that it should find alternative ways to avoid retrenchment and save jobs.  Her suggestions included the upskilling, reskilling and redeployment of workers.  Ndabeni also requested a full plan of how the SABC would undertake this, and that it be submitted to parliament.  This was despite a recent labour court ruling that the SABC’s retrenchment process was lawful and above board.  The broadcaster said, although it was open to considering some of the minister’s alternatives, it would not reopen talks on retrenchment.  According to Seapolelo, the SABC was also considering freezing salary increases for up to three years after consultation with organised labour.  Annual leave could also be reduced from 35 to 28 days.

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