The SABC board is standing by its intention to slash its headcount. It says failure to do so will land it in a dire financial situation very soon.
The board is scheduled to meet again on Thursday to discuss the pending retrenchments.
The public broadcaster’s board and executive were before Parliament’s portfolio committee on Wednesday night, defending the decision to retrench around 400 workers.
According to the board chair, the SABC is projected to make a R1.2-billion loss after the government indicated that the public broadcaster would not be receiving any more bailouts.
“The truth of the matter is we are already projecting a loss of R1.2-billion,” said Bongumusa Makhathini.
“If we don’t fully embed the turnaround plan, we will get to a point where the SABC will be back in an ICU situation.
“And the processes were are engaging on, there’s also the factor of time. The broadcaster refuted claims its restructuring exercise is flawed.
It told Parliament it’s gone above and beyond to make sure the process is inclusive.
“It’s not a nice process, it’s very emotional, it’s very challenging. But for the survival of an 84-year-old institution, it’s quite critical,” said SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe.
“We have engaged with organised labour meaningful on this process. We’ve taken into cognisant the livelihoods at stake.
“We’ve even gone beyond the regulatory requirements to ensure we take everybody on board.
Meanwhile, Deputy Communications Minister Pinky Kekana said the news took her and government by surprise.
“As the shareholder, we are still under the impression that the process of engagement between the stakeholders in the SABC is unfolding,” Kekana said
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