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SABC’s retrenchment plan put on ice

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has announced that it has put on hold its retrenchment plan.

This follows constructive and extensive engagements with various stakeholders, including the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications, organised labour and its own employees, the SABC said on Thursday.

The public broadcaster had initially instituted the retrenchment plan citing huge financial losses, with a R3 billion shortfall as well as bloated staff.

With the retrenchment plan on hold the SABC said it will still embark on a skills audit to provide it with an appropriate structure.

“All our stakeholders acknowledge the need to review the increase in costs, including the compensation bill, hence the need to conduct a thorough skills audit and related activities.

“The outcome will provide the SABC with a fit-for-purpose structure, with clearly defined span of control, appropriate layers of management and appropriate skills and competencies for roles,” said the SABC.

It believes this will ensure that the broadcaster meets its strategic objective of operating optimally and competitively in a digitised environment.

The Portfolio Committee on Communications has welcomed the decision.

Although noting the fact that the SABC is currently overstaffed and that a number of cost-cutting measures that were put in place did not yield desired results, the committee has reiterated on numerous times that the board should rather find more strategic interventions to address the financial situation, including proposals for new funding models, said Hlengiwe Mkhize, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee.

She further reiterated the committee’s long-held resolve that the SABC should work with Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams to come up with a comprehensive plan that will help recapitalise the R3 billion shortfall.

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