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Issues At SABC A Political Problem – Mattison

A lack of political will is being blamed for the growing list of problems at the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

The public broadcaster announced early on Friday morning that its board had suspended the retrenchment process for seven days.

“The board of the SABC would like to announce that it will suspend the [Section 189] process for a period of seven days. This will allow all stakeholders to further engage and explore further options in an effort to ensure the financial sustainability of the SABC,” a statement released by acting SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo said on Thursday.

The SABC was planning to retrench around 400 workers, it announced on Wednesday.

The public broadcaster was also considering a three-year salary freeze; reducing employee annual leave from 35 to 28 days; stopping the cashing in of leave; and reducing sick leave from 30 days a year to the 36 days in three years stipulated by law.

It said that this was to allow role-players to explore further options to ensure the financial sustainability of the corporation.

Former SABC interim board member John Mattison said that government took too long to address the underlying problems at the corporation.

“That’s where we are now, you have the politicians telling them they can’t handle it the way the want to and on the other hand, they’re not giving them the resources. So, that is the catch-22, it is a political problem.”