Communication Workers Union (CWU) came forward stating that no final decision has been made with regards to retrenchments at public broadcaster SABC. File picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA).

CAPE TOWN – The Communication Workers Union (CWU) on Friday said that no final decision has been made with regards to retrenchments at public broadcaster SABC. 

Wayne Bredenkamp, provincial secretary of CWU in the Western Cape said: "SABC has informed CWU in a meeting that took place on 13 September 2018 that this is an option that they are contemplating, but a final decision has not been made yet, the purpose of the meeting was purely information sharing and did not constitute any type of consultation as dictated by the Labour Relations Act (LRA)."

Earlier reports suggested that the SABC would be laying off hundreds of workers as the public broadcaster struggles to pay service providers.

Tuwani Gumani, general secretary of the Media Workers' Association of SA (Mwasa) said that he tried to reach out to management to confirm the news. 

"Upon fielding of several difficult queries by media practitioners, members of Mwasa and other concerned stakeholders, I called the Chairperson of the SABC board to seek verification and or clarification of the below statement and Mr Bongumusa Makhathini indicated that he would call the human resources which I assume to source a response to our concerns regarding the exclusion of Mwasa from the meeting with 'leaders of organised labour'. There has been nothing so far from that side of the world," said Gumani.

Gumani said Mwasa was invited to a meet with the SABC on Monday. 

"Because of the speed at which things are happening, we thought it wise to encourage you all to attend the proposed rediffusion tomorrow morning and to engage Management and the "leadership of organised labour" on this matter. We will await our turn to engage formally with the SABC in an orderly fashion being the principled union that we are," said Gumani. 

The SABC said in an email to unions that the meeting on Thursday was to communicate that the corporation contemplates embarking on Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act processes.

"This forms part of the cost-cutting measures, which includes the assessment of key cost drivers, in order to make the organisation financially sustainable and fit for purpose."

"The next step is for the SABC to engage in joint consensus-seeking consultations with organised labour. We will keep all employees informed of developments relating to this process," said the SABC.