Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

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

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Khulekani Magubane
Khulekani Magubane

Khulekani Magubane is a senior financial reporter for Fin24. 

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

R15m to rid Gauteng of dirty air

The World Bank is funding a plan to deal with air pollution in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and Johannesburg

Reservations about ‘new deal’ for rhinos, lions, elephant, leopards

Draft policy promotes species playing their role in wilderness systems but one conservationist says leopards are being sold out

More top stories

R15m to rid Gauteng of dirty air

The World Bank is funding a plan to deal with air pollution in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and Johannesburg

Transaction Capital finds trust among used-car salesmen

The firm believes the second-hand vehicle business will thrive in a post-Covid world

The budget cuts that spite a nation’s face

Starving StatsSA of its ability to measure inequality may be a short-term face-saving strategy but it does not make the inequality disappear

Reservations about ‘new deal’ for rhinos, lions, elephant, leopards

Draft policy promotes species playing their role in wilderness systems but one conservationist says leopards are being sold out
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×