Pretoria - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is set to let go of 621 people who got the chop after a Section 189 process to restructure the company.
The public broadcaster announced that it has concluded its Section 189 process and will transition into the new fit-for-purpose structure effective from the first day of April.
The SABC said the reduction of employee costs was central to the broadcaster's turnaround plan and its long-term sustainability.
The Section 189 process began with the issuing of the notice in June 2020, and after an intensive nine-month period it will conclude on March 31.
The SABC said subsequent to the conclusion of the resourcing of the new structure, the total number of employees who will leave the organisation at the end of this March is 621.
However, 346 of this number are employees who, notwithstanding the existence of alternative jobs, opted for voluntary severance packages.
Some were concerned about the impact of lower job scale codes resulting from the organisation-wide job evaluation process, on current salaries and their pension.
The broadcaster said these colleagues took voluntary severance packages as a first option and chose not to participate in any alternative job-seeking processes.
The other 275 employees were those who occupied positions that have become redundant. Some employees in this category went through the recruitment process seeking alternative opportunities but were, unfortunately, not successful.
The SABC said it used its best endeavours and managed to absorb affected employees who qualified for vacant positions during the recruitment process.
SABC Chief Executive Madoda Mxakwe said: “The retrenchment process has been extremely difficult for all stakeholders and became emotionally charged at times. The extended process unfortunately also created prolonged uncertainty and a sense of despondency for many. This was understandable and regrettable.
"However, despite these challenges, the Section 189 process was a necessary component of the SABC’s turnaround 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.
The SABC will continue to diligently serve the tens of millions of South Africans who rely on it for education, sport, news and entertainment, in all our languages. We remain committed to transforming the SABC and taking its content everywhere, across platforms, on all devices and in all our languages.
"We want to be part of preserving this national treasure which has the public interest at the very heart of its existence.”