Communications department insists new travel policy not aimed at SABC

Employees will now have to provide motivation for international trip, its benefits for govt and the country.

A sign outside the offices of the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Johannesburg. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Communications has slammed reports that a new policy regulating international trips by government employees is solely directed at the South African Broadcasting Corporation(SABC).

The ministry says the new policy will affect employees at other communications entities, and is not meant to claim the powers or responsibilities of firms.

The SABC has recently come under scrutiny for its controversial editorial decisions, which led to the suspension of several senior journalists, who challenged the policies.

Department spokesperson Mish Molakeng says the letter was also sent to Brand SA, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, Media Development and Diversity Agency, The Film and Publications Board as well as the public broadcaster.

He says the new policy was implemented, as part of several measures adopted by government to cut down on expenses.

Employees will now have to provide motivation for an international trip, its benefits for government and the country, as well as the financial implications.

Molakeng says this is standard practice in government, and has nothing to do with the recent developments at the SABC.