January 31, 2019 / 3:15 PM / 6 months ago

South Africa's indebted public broadcaster scraps layoffs

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 31 (Reuters) - South Africa’s public broadcaster has scrapped a plan to lay off nearly 1,000 staff, and will find other ways to save money after the government said it was reducing financial support.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is among a clutch of heavily indebted state-owned firms that President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to wean off state funding and make more transparent and accountable.

Last year, a parliamentary inquiry found widespread corruption and mismanagement at the SABC and recommended its board be dissolved.

SABC made a net loss of 622 million in 2017/18 and had said it was considering the layoffs to help reduce debts of around 700 million rand ($53 million).

In a statement on Thursday, it said it had “decided not to renew the notice to invoke section 189” of the Labour Relations Act, which mandates consultation with workers before large-scale job cuts.

On Wednesday, South Africa’s largest labour union announced a nationwide strike for Feb. 13 in protest against large-scale layoffs in the public and private sectors. ($1 = 13.2592 rand) (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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