The SABC is retrenching 621 employees in a major shake-up as part of the cash-strapped broadcaster’s turnaround process.

Group CEO Madoda Mxakwe said in a letter the section 189 process was extremely difficult and emotionally charged, but ‘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’.

In a separate statement, notes TimesLIVE, acting SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo said of those leaving the organisation, 346 were employees who 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. These colleagues took voluntary severance packages as a first option and chose not to participate in any alternative job-seeking processes,’ Seapolelo said.

The other 275 employees are 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 used its best endeavours and managed to absorb affected employees who qualified for vacant positions during the recruitment process,’ said Seapolelo.

Mxakwe said: ‘The number of exiting employees is higher than originally anticipated, due primarily to the impact that lower job scales have on employees’ retirement benefits and fund value, and the lack of relevant competencies and qualifications matching available jobs.'

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