SABC axes 10 top managers

The SABC has taken the decision not to renew the contracts of 10 general managers believed to be earning R1m to R1.2m a year.
The SABC has taken the decision not to renew the contracts of 10 general managers believed to be earning R1m to R1.2m a year.
Image: Kabelo Mokoena

The SABC has allegedly taken a decision to cull 10 of its general managers in the biggest bloodbath at senior level yet after their contracts came to end.

Those affected, according to senior executives, were three provincial GMs, as well as GMs in the radio division, TV, real estate, sales, business ventures and sports department.

The top managers, who are believed to have been raking in between R1m and R1.2m per annum, were informed by the SABC's top mandarins at the beginning of the year that their contracts would not be renewed when they came to an end.

This, several highly placed officials said, was because a moratorium had been put on appointments at the public broadcaster due to a skills audit process demanded by parliament's portfolio committee on communications.

The decision, one of the executives said, was also informed by the financial challenges experienced by the SABC.

SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu confirmed several GMs' contracts were not renewed and said "capable and qualified staff members would be appointed in an acting capacity".

"The truth of the matter is that last year the SABC issued a moratorium internally around the filling of vacancies, as well as the advertising of positions, even those which were critical for the organisation.

"The SABC is currently undergoing a skills audit, and critical vacancies which need to be filled will be done by appointing staff members who are capable and qualified in an acting capacity," said Mthembu.

Sunday World understands the decision was interpreted by some SABC managers as the implementation of the retrenchment and restructuring process through the back door.

A senior official close to one of the managers said the decision had left most managers confused and shivering in their boots as they never thought the moratorium would apply to positions already in the existing organogram.

"The decision came as a shock to everyone and we all thought that they won't be affected because it was just about negotiating already existing positions and making new appointments. But that was not the case."

Another staff member raised issues with the public broadcaster's decision, saying the entity's board and executive committee (exco) had not taken a decision to review the structure of the organisation, and they were left puzzled by the decision.

"It would have been understandable if it was three, but 10 is a huge number. Detailed reasons would need to be provided to justify such a decision."

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