SABC retrenchments narrow-minded – EFF

Institution cannot expect to build self-sufficiency and financial prosperity by decreasing its work force

EFF statement on retrenchments at SAB

20 June 2020

The Economic Freedom Fighters notes the retrenchments at the national broadcaster, SABC which are part of a broader job-bloodbath in the country. The youth are at the brunt of this painful reality, and there has been no indication by the government of a coherent plan to create jobs and save those who are already in employment.

The SABC has sent retrenchment notices to 600 employees citing that the move was part of efforts to make the national broadcaster a financially stable and self-sufficient organisation. The bankrupt-logic behind these retrenchments leaves much to be desired, as an institution cannot expect to build self-sufficiency and financial prosperity through decreasing its work-force. An effort to create financial prosperity particularly in the broadcasting sector should be based on strategic investments, maximisation of locally produced content, exporting such content to foreign markets and goal-orientated management that will create financial stability and self-sufficiency. It is parasitic and narrow-minded thinking that leads individuals to think that firing people will lead to financial stability. It is not a sustainable solution and will lead to the collapse of the SABC.

Furthermore, the SABC has achieved notable increases in audience growth both at the level of news coverage and local drama viewership. Recently, the Broadcast Research Council data revealed that SABC had increased its market share to 42% in the national, DTT and DSTV news markets. Local drama Uzalo recorded a record-breaking 11.4 million viewers in April 2020, with dramas such as Generations: The Legacy reaching 9.5 million viewers and Skeem Sam reaching 8.8 million viewers. This reveals that the stability and continuity of the SABC can be maintained by quality productions that can be introduced into the global market rather than senseless attempts at prosperity by firing people.

The EFF rejects the ridiculous and narrow reasoning within the SABC that will add to retrenchments in South Africa which are spiralling out of control. Unions must oppose mediocrity that seeks to thrive at the expense of the livelihoods of 600 employees.

Issued by Vuyani Pambo, National Spokesperson, EFF, 21 June 2020