The public broadcaster decided to hold the section 189 notice, which involved a consultation process between it and organised labour, in abeyance. File Photo: IOL

CAPE TOWN – The SABC on Thursday said it would not renew a notice to invoke Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) ahead of planned staff retrenchments but would opt instead to conduct a comprehensive skills audit first.

Following widespread condemnation of its 2018 announcement on staff cuts at the broadcaster, the SABC decided to hold the section 189 notice, which involved a consultation process between it and organised labour, in abeyance.

That notice expired on Thursday, and in a statement, the public broadcaster said its decision to not renew the notice followed talks with stakeholders, which included MPs, organised labour and staff. 

"All our stakeholders acknowledge the need to review the increase in costs, including the compensation bill, hence the need to conduct a thorough skills audit and related activities," statement said.

"The outcome will provide the SABC with a fit-for-purpose structure, with a clearly defined span of control, appropriate layers of management and appropriate skills and competencies for roles. This will ensure that the SABC meets its strategic objective of operating optimally and competitively in a digitised environment."

In November, SABC board chairman Bongumusa Makhathini told MPs that if they did not receive a R3 billion cash injection they would approach "day zero" where the broadcaster would be "factually insolvent" by March this year.

African News Agency (ANA)