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SABC board reminds Ace Magashule who’s boss at the public broadcaster

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule
ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule

The board of the SABC reminded ANC secretary general Ace Magashule on Saturday that it is in charge of affairs at the public broadcaster.

This followed reported statements by Magashule‚ in which he indicated that the ANC had made a decision not to “allow” the section 189 process currently under way at the SABC‚ which the board said on Saturday it had noted with concern and had caused some confusion among its employees and other stakeholders.

“In this context‚ the SABC believes it is necessary to confirm that the Board has the exclusive power in terms of section 13(11) of the Broadcasting Act‚ 1999 to ‘control the affairs of the Corporation’. This includes how the SABC operates the business of the public broadcaster and conducts labour relations with its employees‚” the board of the public broadcaster said in a statement.

“No person‚ organisation or entity is permitted to interfere with how the SABC Board exercises its power in terms of section 13(11) of the Broadcasting Act. Any interference would be in contravention of the law and a recent court judgment to this effect‚” it added.

The cash-strapped public broadcaster‚ which is battling to pay its creditors‚ announced a restructuring process on Friday which is expected to culminate in massive retrenchments.

The broadcaster’s board said on Saturday it had inherited an organisation in a financial crisis as a result of many years of failures in governance‚ maladministration and poor decision-making.

“The SABC currently has a R1.3-billion debt and an annual salary bill of R3.1 billion. This is clearly not sustainable for an organisation that generates R7.2-billion in revenue and had financial losses of over R622-million in past financial year. Being a responsible Board‚ we cannot sit by and not act. This would be irresponsible and reckless on our part. The Board of the SABC assures all its employees and stakeholders that we will continue to uphold our fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the Corporation‚” the board stated.

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