The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board has taken issue with African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule over his reported comments on cost-cutting and possible staff retrenchments at the public broadcaster.
“The SABC board notes with concern the recent reported statements by the secretary general of the African National Congress (ANC) Mr Ace Magashule, where he indicated that the ANC had made a decision not to ‘allow’ the section 189 process currently under way at the SABC. This reported statement has caused some confusion among our employees and other stakeholders,” the board said in a statement on Saturday.
In this context, the SABC believed it was necessary to confirm that the board had the exclusive power in terms of section 13(11) of the Broadcasting Act to “control the affairs of the corporation”. This included how the SABC operated the business of the public broadcaster and conducted labour relations with its employees.
No person, organisation, or entity was permitted to interfere with how the SABC board exercised 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 judgement to this effect, the board said.
“The SABC board has 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 had 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 said.