The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) supports its sister union the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) in their fight against retrenchments at the South African Broadcasting Services (SABC). 

In June 2020 the public broadcaster had revealed intentions to retrench more than 600 workers claiming that they needed to restructure the organisation in order to guarantee its sustainability. Last week the employer announced that Section 198 notices have been issued to workers. This latest attempt by the employer to retrench workers will results in more than 400 breadwinners losing their source of income.

As NEHAWU, we are vehemently opposed to the looming retrenchments at the SABC and we believe that the state broadcaster should be keeping these workers so they can fulfil their mandate of ensuring that they provide news to the majority of our people who rely on the SABC to access information. Cutting jobs will collapse the state broadcaster resulting in the diminishing of the quality of news. 

These retrenchments comes after the latest quarterly employment statistics which revealed that the country’s narrow definition of unemployment moved to 30.8% – with the broader definition (which include discouraged work seekers) at 43.1%. Many households have lost their incomes because the hard lockdown had halted many economic activities leading to major job loses.

NEHAWU stands in solidarity with the CWU and supports their efforts of highlighting the evil tactics of the capitalist system of using retrenchments in order to rake in more profits. Retrenchments of any kind are categorically rejected by NEHAWU and we will work with other unions to fight the ongoing retrenchments and exploitation of workers, corruption, collusion, and lack of transformation.

The mass retrenchments of workers across all sectors of the economy should be seen in the same light as the broader onslaught against workers including public servants who have not received their salary increase which was due on the 1st April 2020. Workers need to unite more than ever and wage a relentless war against retrenchments, the undermining of collective bargaining, and the austerity measures by the National Treasury.

NEHAWU calls on all its members, workers and society at large to join hands in fighting the job blood bath currently taking place in all sectors of the economy including the public sector. We vow to relentlessly fight retrenchments in all sectors more especially in the public service. In this regard, we call on employers to consider different options of saving jobs and that retrenchments should be a last resort. We will not fold our arms while workers are sacrificed for profits and we will gallantly fight for the job security of all workers across all sectors of the economy.

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 082 455 2500 or email: