Phumzile Van Damme on SABC retrenchments: 'A long, arduous and worrisome process is finally complete'

08 January 2021 - 12:00
DA MP Phumzile Van Damme said a 'complex and tricky road' lay ahead for the SABC. File photo.
DA MP Phumzile Van Damme said a 'complex and tricky road' lay ahead for the SABC. File photo.

“I'm pleased further discussions with staff have resulted in reducing the number of retrenchments by half.”

These are the words of DA MP Phumzile Van Damme in reaction to the news that the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) would retrenchjust over 300 staff.

On Thursday, the broadcaster announced it had concluded its section 189 retrenchment process, and would reduce the originally projected 600 redundancies to 303 employees.

The announcement comes after the extended negotiating process was concluded on the last day of December.

In November last year, the SABC suspend the process for further consultations after staff went on strike, protesting against the proposed retrenchments.

“After considering all options to minimise the total number of affected employees, the SABC has further reduced the number of affected redundant employees to 303,” the public broadcaster said.

Van Damme said “a long, arduous and worrisome process” was finally completed and “the path to self-sustainment must begin in earnest”.

She said it would be a “complex and tricky road” ahead.

Van Damme said she by no means celebrated that 303 people will lose their jobs, “but the history of a highly bloated staff as a result of years of mismanagement was a ticking time bomb threatening to sink the public broadcaster and take all jobs at the SABC with it”.

On social media, many said 303 employees was still a loss and the SABC could have found a better solution.

Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions: