CAPE TOWN-- The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says that Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Communications is very supportive of the SABC board's plans to turn the fortunes of the public broadcaster around after its Chairperson, Bongumusa Makhathini, told the committee that it had appointed top executives with the ability to implement the turnaround plan.

Board members and executives, led by Makhathini, on Tuesday outlined the SABC's turnaround plan before the committee and faced questions. Makhathini told the turnaround plan included dealing with governance issues, regulatory constraints and implementation of operational strategies.

Makhathini said the SABC would stick to the letter of the law regarding any retrenchment process, adding that the public broadcaster planned to cut its 3.1 billion Rand (about 216 million US dollars) salary bill. Makhathini has reiterated that the public broadcaster is contemplating section 189.

The SABC stated that employee cost is still the biggest cost driver at 42 per cent of the corporation's total revenue. The special briefing for Parliament's Communications committee on its turnaround strategy was was called urgently last week, after the SABC announced that it is contemplating retrenchments.

Makhathini said: "We have engaged with organized labour and employees to communicate to them. The SABC contemplates embarking on the Section 189 (retrenchment) process. The process must fully comply with the Labour Relations Act and therefore it would have been improper for the employees to first hear about this process at a public meeting with this committee, that's why we started with labour.


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