Sunday, July 5, 2020

The ANC political party tells South African public broadcaster it doesn't want the bloated SABC to get rid of staffers.

The ANC summoned the top executives of the South African public broadcaster for a meeting at the ANC's headquarters in Johannesburg and told them that the political party doesn't want the bloated and over-staffed SABC to fire any workers.

The SABC has started for a second time to try and cut its enormous wage bill and to get rid of unnecessary personnel after the SABC was forced to end a first attempt in late-2018 because of political pressure in 2019 that was an election year in South Africa.

Currently, 40 cents in every R1 spent by the SABC goes to wages and salaries of its thousands of workers, dragging down the financial situation of the embattled broadcaster that got a R3.2 billion bailout earlier in 2020 and is projecting a loss of over R1 billion on its projected revenue for the year because of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Now the SABC wants to fire 600 workers and told parliament's portfolio committee on communications and the ANC that if the broadcasting corporation is prevented from getting rid of workers the government will have to provide another bailout of over R1 billion to pay wages.

Currently the SABC spends over R270 million per month just on paying salaries.

On Sunday the City Press newspaper reported that Madoda Mxakwe, SABC CEO, and Bongumusa Makhathini, SABC chairperson were both summoned to the ANC's Luthuli House for a private meeting where ANC leaders told the SABC that it doesn't want and won't support the layoff of SABC staff since that would embarrass the political party which is also currently the governing party in South Africa.

The ANC was represented in the meeting with the SABC by Jessie Duarte (ANC deputy secretary general), Pinky Kekana (deputy minister of communication), as well as Solly Mapaila (SACP deputy leader).

South Africa's department of communications, currently run by the disgraced Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, was initially for layoffs at the SABC but has now made a sudden turnaround.

Pule Mabe, ANC spokesperson, told City Press that it was a private meeting.