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SABC to face unions over proposed mass staff retrenchments

Unions have made it clear that they will not allow the public broadcaster to lay off 981 permanent staff and over 1,000 freelancers.

FILE: SABC offices in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Picture: Tshepo Lesole/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) will come face to face with unions on Tuesday at a meeting to discuss its planned retrenchments of over 2,000 people.

Unions have made it clear they will not allow the public broadcaster to lay off 981 permanent staff and over 1,000 freelancers.

SABC management notified unions of the intention in September as part of attempts to stabilise its finances.

But labour claims that the public broadcaster did not follow a proper consultation process.

The Communication Workers Unions (CWU)'s Clyde Mervin says: "And obviously one of the issues we’re going to be discussing is to make sure that we talk about avoiding of retrenchments."

Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (Bemawu)'s Hannes du Busson says the union has doubts about the SABC's intentions.

“We hope that the process is going to go ahead and that it will be a fair and transparent process. But at this point in time we’ve serious doubt that it will happen.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)