SABC to retrench hundreds

The cash-strapped SABC will be laying off hundreds of workers as the public broadcaster struggles to pay service providers.

In a meeting with unions on Thursday, SABC management announced that they were forced to retrench employees due to the organisation’s dire financial situation, high employee head count and a huge salary bill, among others.

A union official confirmed that the public broadcaster was struggling to fund its R1bn plus annual wage bill.

An internal memo was then sent out to workers notifying them that the embattled public broadcaster would be embarking on retrenchments even though no further details were released.

In a letter from the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers’ Union (Bemawu) addressed to members, which SowetanLIVE has seen, the union announced its “extreme concern and absolute sadness” over the retrenchments.

“We were informed that the salary bill is one of the highest costs, and the SABC is going to embark on this exercise to reduce staff,” the Bemawu letter said.

The SABC has about 4000 employees, with a quarter of them being freelancers or contractors.

Over a week ago, the cast and crew of popular SABC1 soapie Uzalo downed tools after they were not paid when the SABC failed to make payments to the production house, Stained Glass Pictures..

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