SABC says cash flow will dry up by end of financial year

South Africa

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says its cash flow will dry up by the end of this financial year, if the corporation does not receive a financial injection. The Public Broadcaster was briefing Parliament’s Communications Committee on the implementation of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.

Due to its dire financial situation, financial institutions are reluctant to help them.

The SABC is currently over-staffed, and it also has an inflated remuneration bill and Section 189 will affect all employees, all divisions, and all provincial offices.

This is what the Public Broadcaster told Parliament’s Communications Committee. The corporation is in dire financial straits.

Board Chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini says banks are reluctant to help. “A few months ago we got a borrowing letter of R1.2 billion from the National Treasury and that letter has not yielded anything because of disclaimer status that we have got from the AG, the banks have been very reluctant to give us any financial facility. We still don’t have any finances, government guarantee is the only thing we need to progress. “

All its cost-cutting measures have been exhausted . The corporation is expected to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to discuss financial assistance.

“We have gone to the president, to the Minister of Communications, the Minister of Finance to say let’s have an urgent meeting of all those three people and ourselves to discuss this crisis, the deadline for that meeting is this week. From where we are sitting we have done whatever may be expected of a Board like ours,” says Deputy Chairperson Mathatha Tsedu

About 981 permanent staff members will be laid off and contracts of about 1200 freelancers will not be renewed.

On the other hand, members of the Committee believe that the SABC is not doing enough to avoid retrenchments. It is insisting that retrenchments should only be a last resort.

The SABC’s 60-day consultation process into staff retrenchments has been effectively put on hold. The process which was to begin on Wednesday turned into an information sharing exercise with the CCMA backing labour unions’ calling for more information.

Unions have two weeks to consider the information obtained from the first sitting and request further particulars. The process will start in the middle of December only to stall for the Christmas holidays. Nevertheless, SABC CFO Yolande Van Biljon says they are pushing ahead with the planned retrenchments.


-SABC News

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