From unpaid salaries to no retrenchments: The SABC's eventful week

Employees of the public broadcaster had quite the roller coaster week.
Employees of the public broadcaster had quite the roller coaster week.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Sunday Times.

In 2018‚ the SABC said it needed a R3bn bailout or it would not be able to pay salaries by March 2019.

Late in 2018‚ four SABC board members‚ Mathatha Tsedu‚ Krish Naidoo‚ Khanyisile Kweyama and John Mattison‚ resigned following a letter from communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

In it‚ she accused the board of not acting in the interests of South Africa and the public broadcaster.

The SABC’s financial woes have continued to affect the broadcaster in 2019.

Salaries not paid

On Tuesday‚ SABC employees were shocked to find they had not been paid their January salaries.

SowetanLIVE reportedly saw a notification from the Broadcasting‚ Electronic Media & Allied Workers' Union (Bemawu) stating it was aware of the nonpayment.

A staff member‚ speaking on condition of anonymity‚ confirmed not receiving a salary.

Radio station SAfm issued a statement on its Twitter account reassuring employees that their salaries would be paid on Tuesday. It blamed the delay on a technical glitch at its bank.

A Bemawu official subsequently told SowetanLIVE that he had been informed by a senior SABC official that the matter had been resolved.

There was a sigh of relief when the public broadcaster announced on Thursday that it would not renew its notice to retrench about 2‚000 employees and freelancers.

The SABC said it would undergo a comprehensive skills audit that would provide a "fit-for-purpose" structure.

SABC spokesperson Neo Momodu said the decision came after much engagement with stakeholders‚ including the parliamentary portfolio committee on communications‚ organised labour and SABC employees.

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