While SABC retrenchments are not completely off the table, the tripartite alliance, otherwise known as the African National Congress (ANC), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), have sided with workers.
The board, just hours earlier said it would suspend the S189 process for a period of seven days to allow all stakeholders to further engage and explore further options in an effort to ensure the financial sustainability of the SABC.
SABC RETRENCHMENTS: MABE SPEAKS ON BEHALF OF THE ALLIANCE
While the SABC Board has cited massive financial difficulties, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe, in an interview with eNCA reporter Khayelihle Khumalo, said the SABC needs to find other ways to become stable. He went on to say that retrenchments are not the answer.
“The alliance is not in support of any attempts to retrench workers. Actually, in our strongly-worded statement we did say that the SABC management and the board ought to find other innovative ways to make sure that the workforce within the SABC is not made redundant,” said Mabe.
“They need to find new ways given that we are in the new normal brought about the COVID-19 pandemic on how things should be done. We cannot be entertaining issues of retrenchments when our economy is where it is now,” he added.
Mabe said the SABC plays a critical role in terms of disseminating information, therefore, the board needs a turnaround strategy that ensures the current workforce operates to the maximum.
WORKERS FIGHT BACK
Senior journalist at the SABC Chriselda Lewis took to the podium on Friday. She said it breaks her heart that young people come to her asking where they would find jobs.
“This public broadcaster belongs to you, it does not belong to any individual,” she said.
One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane also expressed his support for workers saying they should be bailed out.
“If we can bail out SAA we can and in fact, we must bail out the SABC. We need more attention and resources channelled to content creation once again at the SABC. The broadcasting giant of Africa must be rejuvenated. There must be zero retrenchments. Properly managed the SABC can produce great content and generate revenue,” he said.