The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) plans to dismiss over 300 workers was a betrayal by President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government, the opposition Congress of the People (Cope) said on Wednesday.The state-funded SABC, which runs television and radio stations nationwide, said it would fire 303 employees as part of the broadcaster’s restructuring plans to trim a bloated budget at the end of March.
The broadcaster’s plans, however, have not pleased Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem, who urged the public to rally behind SABC employees and help to safeguard the public broadcaster from a downward spiral of mismanagement.
“It is a total disgrace that the SABC is proceeding with these disgraceful retrenchments. This means that the government is now adding to the long list of unemployed workers in the country,” Bloem said.
He accused Ramaphosa and the ANC of betraying “the loyal, hardworking workers”.
“The government can’t look away when the livelihoods of thousands are at stake.
“Cope calls upon opposition parties, community based organisations, faith based organisations and all the people as a whole to rise up and support SABC workers. We must save the jobs of the workers and the public broadcaster,” he said.
The SABC declined to comment on the retrenchments, but it has been advertising vacancies and interviewing candidates.
The South African presidency had yet to respond to the Cope charges as APA went to press on Wednesday.