PRETORIA– Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has expressed strong opposition to possible retrenchments at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

As the shareholder, it is our considered view that any retrenchment exercise must be a last resort and an integral part of a holistic, well-formulated and broadly canvassed turnaround plan aimed at steering the SABC towards future financial sustainability, Mokonyane said in a statement Monday.

The Minister, as the shareholder representative, has on A few occasions met with the board of the SABC and expressed her dissatisfaction with the preferred methods of implementing the turnaround plan submitted by the board to her for concurrence.

She said that while she appreciated the precarious financial position of the public broadcaster and the urgent need to contain costs, she lamented the fact that despite numerous meetings with the SABC board on the need for a comprehensive approach to turnaround the public broadcaster, the board had insisted on retrenchment as the foremost and only solution.

The Minister has raised her concerns with what she believes is an odd approach by the board of the SABC, which ignores the advice and support of the shareholder in this necessary and critical process of turning the SABC around,” she said in the statement .

“This is inconsistent with the principles of good corporate governance, mutual interest and public good.”

She said that throughout her engagements with the SABC, she had insisted on the process being objective and open to technical support by the shareholder and the National Treasury.

That is why she established a turnaround task team comprising the Department of Communications and National Treasury to work with the SABC in this regard, added the statement.

Mokonyane said the SABC is a national asset and as a public broadcaster, its well-being is not the exclusive domain of the board and its management but that of all stakeholders with an interest in its sustainability and those include government (as a shareholder), labour, civil society and the broader public.

Mokonyane hopes the board and executive of the SABC will once again consider the advice and matters raised with them and seek a harmonised way forward based on mutual interest and respect for the benefit of the SABC and South Africa, the statement said.


News Reporter