SABC board, Communications minister set for fight over retrenchments

The ‘City Press’ reported this weekend that Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has taken the board to task regarding its retrenchment plans.

FILE: Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams addresses the 20th Anniversary of AfricaCom at Cape Town International Convention Centre on 8 November 2017. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – Animosity seems to be brewing between the new Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board.

The City Press reported this weekend that Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has taken the board to task regarding its retrenchment plans.

The minister has reportedly written a scathing letter to the board, threatening to involve the president and Parliament in the matter.

According to the report, the SABC board received a letter from the minister on Saturday, following a meeting she had with them last Thursday.

Apparently, it was at this meeting where she demanded an end to the public broadcaster’s planned retrenchments.

The broadcaster intends on retrenching 981 permanent staff and 1200 freelancers.

According to City Press, Ndabeni-Abrahams makes mention in the letter of a R3 billion government guarantee that the SABC applied for and a R1.2 billion loan facility from the Treasury.

She adds that it’s clear the board still plans to go ahead with retrenchments, irrespective of a possible successful bailout by the government and that her department, therefore, is left with no option but to stop engagements with the board.

The ministry told Eyewitness News on Sunday that it cannot comment on what had been discussed at this point and will only provide information once engagements with all involved parties have been concluded.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

Source: EWN

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