Broadcasting Services

South Africa: SABC Editorial Forum Worries Planned Retrenchments Will Affect News Services

The South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Forum has said to the country's Parliamentary Committee for Communications that it is deeply concerned that the planned retrenchment exercise within the corporation might harm SABC's news service delivery mandate.
Editorial Forum's leaders, appearing during a virtual session of the committee of lawmakers, suggested that the SABC leadership be directed to make the retrenchment process more consultative and also to inject a hefty dose of transparency into the process that will, in the end, layoff more than 600 permanent staff and tear up contracts for almost 1,200 freelance workers.
Zolisa Sigabi, one of the Editorial Forum's leaders, told the committee that "Neither the news staff nor the senior news management has sat in a meeting where the current state of affairs was analysed. For the first time in our newsrooms history, news management was excluded from the process. Staff was only called to meetings where a draft structure was presented, and they were given four days to make inputs.
SABC executive leadership says it is focused on continuing to serve the nation and ensure a corporation that will not only survive and thrive but will also be a leading force for public service broadcasting to be enjoyed by all South Africans.
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