18 November 2020
JOHANNESBURG – The Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, together with the Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana, called an urgent meeting with the board of the SABC on Tuesday.
“I would like to call on the employees of the public broadcaster to exercise restraint and patience during this period of intervention by the Department and Parliament,” said Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams.
The public broadcaster issued section 189 retrenchment letters to its employees. This was met with stern refusal by the members of staff.
Videos that circulated on social media showed a very tense newsroom as the disgruntled workers aired their grievances.
The meeting on Tuesday was aimed at getting the management of the SABC to account to the Minister on the merits of continuing with the retrenchment process currently under way at the SABC.
The SABC will appear before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications on Wednesday to provide an account of the retrenchment process, and any contingencies they have in place to mitigate the current strife with employees and unions.
Some of staff had demanded the resignation of management.
The broadcaster, which gets most of its revenue from advertising has been under distress as advertisements dwindled due to the surge of covid-19 and challenges in retrieving payment of TV and radio licences.