Sunday, May 6, 2018

SABC reportedly fires 26 SABC TV Licence fee collection agents as division grinds to a halt; broadcaster says its following disciplinary procedure over 'unprotected strike action'.

The SABC has reportedly fired 26 staffers from its SABC TV Licence fees collections division on Wednesday (2 May) with the division's operations that has apparently effectively grinded to a halt due to a lack of sufficient personnel.

The SABC disputes that staffers were fired and says they went on "unprotected strike action" and that the struggling South African public broadcaster "followed all the required prescripts in arriving at the pronouncement, based on the submissions presented before the aforesaid disciplinary process".

That comes after SABC staffers were served with letters stating that: "You are hereby notified you are relieved from your duties. You will be dully [sic] notified of the date to attend a disciplinary inquiry".

Earlier in the week trade unions met with parliament's portfolio committee on communications, tasked with oversight of the SABC, and told the committee during the listening session that the SABC is flouting labour laws and of serious concerns among staffers over how the SABC is run. The latest SABC board has so far met with trade unions only once.

City Press on Sunday reported that 26 SABC staffers working in TV Licence collections got dismissal letters.

Less than a third of South African TV households bother to pay their annual SABC TV licence fees and the SABC is owed over R25.5 Billion in outstanding SABC TV licence fees that the broadcaster will in all probability never be able to collect.

According to the report, the controversial and now fired former chief operating officer (COO) at the SABC, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, moved the SABC TV Licence fee collection agents, originally outsourced from a company called Teleresources, to 3-year contracts.

According to SABC staffers, these contracts don't comply with labour regulations or even the SABC's own guidelines,and the contracts make no provision for any benefits or bonuses. Hilariously, contracts, copy and pasted from Teleresources contracts, even say SABC staffers must report to their Teleresources manager to apply for leave - which of course is impossible.