“Mass retrenchments” may be looming at eMedia Investments’ eNCA (DStv 403) TV news channel in South Africa, affecting staffers in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban across various workflow divisions, with scores of people losing their jobs in so-called “work responsibilities consolidation.”
According to BMA sources, eMedia plans to close its etv News & Sports channel on its Openview satellite service at the end of March, laying off 45 employees. The etv News & Sports channel, according to eMedia, is “no longer viable.”
Over half of eMedia Investments’ video editors and senior video editors, who were served with Section 189 retrenchment letters on Monday, will be laid off by the end of April, according to eNCA managing director Norman Munzhelele.
Only 11 of eNCA’s 25 long-form and news video editors are safe, according to sources, since the newsroom has switched to a system where producers, writers, and reporters must perform their own editing, rendering video editors redundant.
“We acknowledge your questions and queries,” eMedia wrote in response to a media query, “but this is an ongoing, internal matter that is sensitive and will be managed with the utmost respect while respecting the dignity of our staff.”
“All relevant and applicable labour legislation is adhered to by the company.”
The eNCA aims to “drive efficiency” in Cape Town and Durban, meaning job numbers in both cities are likely to be reduced.
“eNCA is bleeding staff as it is, but they’re slashing considerably more,” another insider added. “Staff morale has plummeted to new lows.”