The South African Broadcasting Corporation board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini has admitted that the public broadcaster employees may not get their 13th cheque this year and may be without salaries in January.
The SABC reports that its debt stands at about R1.3 billion with no confirmed financial assistance from the government and that the public broadcaster was depending on a month to month survival.
Makhathini was quoted as saying by the SABC: “Reality is that every month is a scramble of how and who you pay first so I can’t guarantee anything beyond where we are now and that’s why I am saying time is not on our side. We have to start implementing our turnaround to see if we can save the situation… I mean we have requested government guarantees over a year; we are not receiving it. We have engaged with banks but we have not had any banks committing to give us money.”
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The public broadcaster announced in August that it had met with unions to inform them it was contemplating implementing Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act as part of a number of cost-cutting measures.
One of these measures would be retrenchments as the SABC currently has a salary bill of R3.1 billion.
Makhathini admitted that cutting the SABC salary bill was one of the board turnaround strategies.
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