Some 621 broadcasters at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have lost their jobs, with Wednesday set as their final pay day, SABC’s group chief executive officer Madoda Mxakwe has announced.Mxakwe said on Tuesday that the employees’ retrenchment was part of the SABC’s turn-around strategy and long-term sustainability plan for the loss-making state-funded facility which runs both radio and television stations nationwide.
He said that 346 of the 621 retrenched employees opted for voluntary severance packages. The remaining were employees that occupied positions that had become redundant in the organisation, he explained.
“The retrenchment process has been extremely difficult for all stakeholders and became emotionally charged at times. Unfortunately, the extended process also created prolonged uncertainty and a sense of despondency for many,” Mxakwe said.
He said although regrettable, the retrenchments were “a necessary component of the SABC’s turn-around plan to ensure the public broadcaster’s long-term financial sustainability and capacity to fulfil its extensive public mandate.”
“The process was necessary to preserve and reposition the SABC as a resilient and viable public broadcaster and public media organisation.
“We want to be part of preserving this national treasure which has the public interest at the very heart of its existence.”