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Sanef slams govt’s reluctance to financially rescue SABC

The broadcaster says the current ratio of revenue to wage bill is unsustainable given its dismal financial situation.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has questioned government's reluctance to support the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) which has announced a restructuring plan to address the dire state of its finances that many fear will result in job cuts.

The broadcaster says the current ratio of revenue to wage bill is unsustainable given its dismal financial situation.

On Friday, unions hit out at the broadcaster for considering the implementation of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act which deals with layoffs.

Sanef's Kate Skinner said: “Other parastatals have been supported and allowed to get funding but for some reason, it seems government is not prepared to support the SABC.”

The forum says it’s in discussion with editors, including those from the SABC, to discuss possible retrenchments.

Skinner says such developments harm the media industry.

“Any talk of retrenchment is certainly problematic for our industry because there’ve been a lot of retrenchments, meaning the shrinking of the industry.”

While the broadcaster and unions continue to negotiate, Bemawu says it believes other cost-cutting measures can be explored.

At the same time, the broadcaster's reacted to comments African National Congress Secretary-General Ace Magashule reportedly made, in which he stated the party would not allow the Section 189 process.

In a statement, the broadcaster reminds Magashule that the board has exclusive powers to control affairs of the corporation, including business operations and labour relations.

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