We soon won’t be able to pay salaries at SABC, Parliament hears

SABC board member Mathatha Tsedu told Parliament’s portfolio committee that SABC’s own Day Zero is approaching as soon as the first quarter of next year, saying the cash-strapped state-owned entity won’t be able to pay salaries.

“We are now in phase two of our forecast. Phase three is the extreme one where our supply dries up in terms of revenue coming in. At the end of January, we will be at a point where we can pay salaries and some other things. February, we might not even be able to pay full salaries. March will be our day zero, if nothing changes here,” said Tsedu.

He said the SABC has approached treasury but is waiting to find the solutions from those engagements, as the situation is so dire that the office of the Auditor General has declared them as a non-going concern.

SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe said the wage bill was part of the cost reduction drives that the broadcaster was considering in an attempt to keep the business stable.

He said for the current financial year, the SABC had a total expenditure of R3.5-billion, which was significantly lower than before.


Mxakwe told the committee that the SABC was pursuing savings of R463-million by cutting costs in sports rights. He said these cuts were painful in terms of efforts to draw viewers, but was necessary.

He added that the SABC also cut costs in marketing by more than R36-million.

“One of the biggest concerns for us is (despite) having done this, projections show losses of R803-million by the end of March next year,” said Mxakwe.

He said the current salary bill stands at 43% of revenue, pushed up by lower middle management.

Earlier this month the SABC board issued a statement indicating that as part of its restructuring process to cut costs, it may have to retrench workers. The board warned that almost 1 000 permanent employees and about 1 200 freelancers may be affected. The state broadcaster appointed the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to consult on the matter.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has since criticised the board over the looming retrenchments, saying it was pre-emptive and not in compliance with the s189 retrenchment process in terms of the Labour Relations Act.— Fin 24

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Khulekani Magubane
Khulekani Magubane

Khulekani Magubane is a senior financial reporter for Fin24. 

Related stories

Shadow of eviction looms over farm dwellers

In part two of a series on the lives of farm dwellers, Tshepiso Mabula ka Ndongeni finds a community haunted by the scourge of eviction

Q&A Sessions: ‘I think I was born way before my time’ — Mamodupi Mohlala

The chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the deputy chair of the SABC board, shares her take on retrenchments at the public broadcaster and reveals why she hates horror movies

Editorial: Political meddling won’t save the SABC

For years, in moves that harked back to the repressive regime of the Nats, the public broadcaster has been used by the party as its political football in internal factional battles, or to censor dissent.

Motsoaledi blames ‘porous’ and ‘rotten’ borders for Bushiris’ escape

Home affairs minister admits South Africa has weak borders, and that the Bushiris had 10 passports between them

‘Let ANC deal with its leaders facing corruption charges,’ Ramaphosa tells parliament

The president was answering questions before parliament, where he also told the EFF to allow the courts to decide on the matter of the CR17 bank statements

Thousands of South Africans apply for land online

The department of agriculture has received a plethora of online applications after it released about 500 000 hectares of land last month
Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

More top stories

Hope grows on Durban beachfront

Ten homeless men who turned a vacant lot into an organic vegetable garden are now reaping the rewards of their toil

Shabnim Ismail bowls her way into the record books Down...

The night before Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) final, fiery South African fast bowler Shabnim Ismail lay awake pondering how...

Hawks make arrest in matric maths paper leak

Themba Daniel Shikwambana, who works at a printing company, was granted bail and is due to return to court in January

Andile Lungisa: Early parole for the house of truth

Disgraced Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa calls for a change of leadership in the ANC immediately after being released on parole
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…