Primedia Group announces retre

Primedia Group announces retrenchment processes

Group interim CEO Phumzile Langeni said the impact the decision would have on staff would be a “watershed moment” and said they are committed to managing the process with sensitivity and consideration to all affected

Primedia Group announces retre

Primedia Broadcasting, the owners of radio stations 702, CapeTalk, Kfm and 947, has announced it will proceed with retrenchment consultations in accordance with section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.

The media group said the state of the economy, coupled with a number of factors including the COVID-19 pandemic, had exerted immense pressure on the company.

“The state of the South African economy, exacerbated by COVID-19 and coupled with the pace of changes in technology and digitisation has put significant pressure on Primedia Broadcasting. After a strategic review of the business we implemented a number of efficiency and cost saving solutions, but unfortunately these have not been sufficient to steady the business amidst the impact of the pandemic,” said CEO Geraint  Crwys-Williams.

“We regret that this means we now have to take decisions that will more directly impact our people, namely implement a Section 189 process. This decision was not taken lightly but it is, we believe, necessary to secure a strong, sustainable Primedia Broadcasting for the long term.”

Committed to handling the process with sensitivity

“The expected impact on our people is a watershed moment for us, as an organisation that recognises their importance in all we do and what we represent,” interim chief executive officer Phumzile Langeni said.

Langeni said this was a sustainability strategy they had hoped not to have to deploy  and said they are committed to managing the process with sensitivity and consideration to all affected employees while following the process set out in law.

More job losses in media

Media companies have been one of the casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic, including Media24 which also announced it would be discontinuing some of its publications.

In a statement on Tuesday, 7 July 2020, the company said it is considering the closure of five magazines and two newspapers, outsourcing and reducing the frequency of its remaining monthly magazines, taking two newspapers digital only, and reducing staff in related support services.

“From the earliest days of the pandemic in South Africa, everything we’ve done focused on two main priorities. Firstly, the health and safety of our people, and secondly, business continuity — by implication also protecting employment for as long as possible,” said Media24 CEO Ishmet Davidson in the statement.