South Africa: SABC Embarks On Retrenchment Programme to Try to Save the Broadcaster

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It has been a difficult road for the South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) after years of maladministration, censorship and corruption, and it continues to be a rocky journey as it attempts to come back from near ruin through strict austerity measures and retrenchment.

"We are technically insolvent as an organisation and are not able to fulfil our financial obligations," said SABC group CEO Madoda Mxakwe at the broadcaster's press conference held at their Auckland Park offices.

As a result, the national broadcaster has decided to invoke Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) that requires it to seek consultation from all parties involved and unions with a third party mediator, for retrenchments to be "both procedurally and substantively fair".

The SABC will let go of 981 of their 3,377 permanent employees and 1,200 of the 2,400 freelance journalists.

The SABC's wage bill stands at R3.1-billion and makes up 42% of its total R7.1-billion expenditure.

And to dispel the rumour that most of this is because of executive payouts, Mxakwe outlined that only R12.5-million cost to company goes to the top three executives, while the entire group executives...

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