SABC advised to embark on meaningful and wide consultations – Parliament

Committee says despite financial challenges, the board and executive must do the right thing

Parliament advises SABC to embark on meaningful and wide consultations

19 November 2020

The Portfolio Committee on Communications has advised the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to have meaningful engagement with the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies and organised labour in order to find a balance between saving jobs and making the corporation sustainable. The committee said this after it was briefed yesterday by the SABC and the department on the latest developments at SABC on the implementation of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act.

The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Boyce Maneli, said that while the committee acknowledges that the current financial challenges facing the corporation are historical, the committee can nonetheless advise the board and the executive to do the right thing.

The committee reiterated its long-held view that Section 189 letters of notice to workers are premature and that the SABC should consult openly with all its stakeholders and sister entities in order to find meaningful ways to reposition the corporation. However, the SABC told the committee that 43% of its revenue goes towards the payment of salaries and, according to its new organogram, 400 current positions should be reduced to 170.

The committee will meet again to discuss the broader intervention strategy that is needed at the SABC. The intervention will include closer consideration of the corporation’s policies and legislative framework to unlock revenue streams.

Issued by Justice Molafo on behalf of Parliament, 19 November 2020