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SABC to follow Labour Relations Act over possible retrenchments

The SABC board and top executives are briefing Parliament’s communications committee on their strategy to turn the public broadcaster around.

FILE: SABC offices in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - SABC board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini says the public broadcaster will follow the Labour Relations Act to the letter in connection with possible retrenchments.

Unions have reacted angrily to the prospect of SABC employees having to take the pain for years of mismanagement and reckless spending, especially under the tenure of disgraced former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The SABC board and top executives are briefing Parliament’s communications committee on their strategy to turn the public broadcaster around.

They've detailed how the salary bill ballooned in recent years.

Makhatini says employee costs swallow up 42% of the public broadcaster’s total revenue. The SABC does not make enough money to cover its spending. Its total income in 2017/18 was R6.6 billion, of that, R3.1 billion went on paying staff.

Makhatini says possible retrenchments form only one part of a multi-faceted plan to turn the public broadcaster around.

“With regard to section 189 [of the Labour Relations Act], this is [a] very tightly drafted legislation and processes, which the SABC intends to follow to the letter.”

MPs have been given details on how the wage bill has soared over the past 15 years when employee costs made up around 26% of the SABC’s expenditure.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)