‘The layoffs at public broadcaster without staff views unfair’

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said it’s unfair for the ANC in Parliament to refuse staff to take part in discussions about the looming South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) layoffs.

In a statement on Sunday, DA Shadow’s Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services, Phumzile Van Damme, said her party will write to Committee Chairperson, Boyce Maneli demanding for an explanation and asking for staff to participate.

“We believe that the ANC will consider our request. It is not parliament of the “top executives” It’s an institution of the “people”. said Van Damme, adding that parliament represents the views in our country, it must interact with all South Africans, regardless of their status in life.”

She said the looming retrenchment requires the SABC staff to express their views on the layoff, set aside two days to listen to management and staff opinions.

The ANC in Parliament have rejected our request with no explanation. Hearing the two sides of the story will allow it [Parliament] to have a comprehensive understanding of the complete process.

“Political layoffs will not help. According to reports, ANC held a meeting with SABC to stop the layoffs because it does not want to be “embarrassed” before the local government elections in 2021. This is unfair to the management of SABC or its employees.”

Van Damme said this is a common reason for the high cost of SABC employees, which results from years of poor management, adding that SABC informed Parliament last month that it would need to reduce R700 million in staff costs to balance its revenue.

Sunday World reported that editorial staff of the organisation have written to parliament to oppose the restructuring process that will see 600 permanent workers and 1 200 freelancers laid off to cut the salary bill by R700-million.

“Unfortunately, during the global pandemic in the middle of winter, SABC employees had to deal with the possibility of unemployment.  What is being cut is not just numbers, but the livelihood of human life.”

“It is important to deal with it carefully and eliminate the dissatisfaction of all employees,” said Van Damme.

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